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Soccer Insider : WOMEN'S WORLD CUP

Ghana, Nigeria Join Party

October 28, 1998|GRAHAME L. JONES

The 16-nation field for the third FIFA Women's World Cup is virtually complete.

Nigeria and Ghana clinched the 14th and 15th places Tuesday for the world championship in the United States on June 19-July 10 by winning their semifinal games in the African qualifying tournament.

Nigeria shut out Cameroon, 6-0, and Ghana defeated the Republic of Congo, 4-1, in overtime.

The winners will meet in the final Saturday, but both are now assured of playing in the U.S. next summer. Ghana had never before qualified for the World Cup, but Nigeria played in the 1991 tournament in China and the 1995 event in Sweden.

In the current qualifying tournament, which also has featured Morocco, Egypt and South Africa, the Super Eagles have outscored opponents, 26-0.

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Tournament organizers announced that the July 4 semifinal at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif., will be played as part of a doubleheader, along with a San Jose Clash Major League Soccer game.

Such a pairing requires approval from FIFA, world soccer's governing body, but that is regarded as a formality. The other semifinal, at Foxboro Stadium on the same day, already has been approved as part of a doubleheader with the New England Revolution.

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Monica Lozano, associate publisher of Los Angeles' La Opinion, the nation's leading Spanish-language daily newspaper, was named to the advisory board for the Women's World Cup.

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