South Africa and Nigeria qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Twenty-two of 24 teams have clinched a spot in the tournament

Houston Dash forward Thembi Kgatlana (left) and Washington Spirit forward Francisca Ordega. (Photo credit: isiphotos.com)

South Africa and Nigeria booked their tickets to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Tuesday, with semifinal wins at the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations.

Twenty-two of 24 countries are now qualified for next summer’s Women’s World Cup: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China PR, England, France (host nation), Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea Republic, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand and the United States.

Nigeria clinched their spot after beating Cameroon in penalty kicks on Tuesday. They join Brazil, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United States as the only teams to qualify for every edition of the tournament. Spirit forward Francisca Ordega started for Nigeria in the game.

South Africa beat Mali 2-0 in their semifinal game to earn their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup. Houston Dash forward Thembi Kgatlana, starting for South Africa alongside her Dash teammate Linda Motlhalo, scored the opening goal of the match and leads the tournament with five goals. Motlhalo was named Woman of the Match.

Two spots remain in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, with both to be decided this week.

On Friday, Cameroon and Mali will meet in the third-place game of the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations for CAF’s final spot.

Then the winner of the 2018 OFC Women’s Nations Cup will earn the final spot at next summer’s tournament. That tournament will have its semifinals on Wednesday with New Zealand vs. New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea vs. Fiji. The final will take place on Saturday.