Twin hat-tricks give Zambia's Racheal Kundananji top spot in African women's rankings

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While some African women's footballers returned to action in August following the end of their FIFA Women's World Cup campaigns, the majority took to the field again in September, with most hitting the ground running.

Zambia forward Racheal Kundananji tops the pile this month after hat-tricks at both club and international level, while there were some equally impressive antics at the other end of the field from the likes of Nigeria goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie.

1. Racheal Kundananji, Madrid CFF

Kundananji scored hat-tricks in September first against Morocco for Zambia, then four days later against Sevilla for Madrid.

In the match against Morocco, Kundananji opened the scoring for Zambia after capitalising on Khadija Er-Rmichi's hesitancy to clear, slipping in behind the defence and snatching the ball to score.

She also scored Zambia's second off the back of a goalkeeping error, pouncing after Er-Rmichi spilled a cross through her legs. To put the icing on the cake, she beat a defender and took the ball around Er-Rmichi to complete her hat-trick and make it 6-2 in the 90th minute.

Kundananji once again opened and closed the scoring against Sevilla four days later, netting in the 27th minute, then again in first half stoppage time to make it 3-0 before getting the last goal of the game in the 64th minute.

2. Barbra Banda, Shanghai Shengli

Banda also managed a hat-trick in Zambia's rout of Morocco, scoring her first goal from the penalty spot before getting in behind the defence and around Er-Rmichi to score her second.

The striker once again used her electrifying pace to break the defensive line in the 79th minute, this time calmly slotting past Er-Rmichi into the bottom corner as if she weren't there in order to round off her goalscoring masterclass.

3. Anam Imo, Piteå

Nigeria's Imo continues to quietly go about building a case for more regular game time for the Super Falcons, scoring at a sensational rate in a difficult league, the Swedish Damallsvenskan.

September saw her bag a brace against Kristianstad in a 4-2 defeat before scoring in a 5-2 win over Växjö. With six matches left in the season, Imo sits joint-top of the goalscoring charts in Sweden with 14 league goals and her team is very much still in the title race.

Currently, Piteå sit fourth in the table, only three points behind league leaders Hammarby.

4. Thembi Kgatlana, Racing Louisville

Kgatlana continues to impress for Racing Louisville in the NWSL, and as a result, the 2024 option in her contract was exercised, allowing her to remain for another season after this one.

September saw her score the winner in Racing Louisville's 2-1 win over Portland Thorns, capitalising on an headed flick-on from Rebecca Holloway and controlling before firing a thunderbolt into the bottom corner to complete the comeback victory in the 64th minute.

Kgatlana's contribution to every team she plays in goes beyond merely goals as she can break defensive lines with her lightning pace and take defenders on.

5. Linda Motlhalo, Glasgow City

While Kgatlana continued her steady form in the NWSL, her South Africa teammate Motlhalo, and former Houston Dash teammate, was named Glasgow City's Player of the Month.

Motlhalo, most famous for her silky skills in midfield, found herself on the scoresheet in first half stoppage time in the title chasers' 6-0 win over Dundee United. Glasgow City's only points dropped in seven matches this season were in a 1-1 draw with fellow title chasers Rangers, while Celtic have a perfect record.

As the season progresses, Glasgow City will need Motlhalo to make a telling impact to separate City from their Glasgow rivals in the title race.

6. Chiamaka Nnadozie, Paris FC

Nnadozie starred in goal for the Paris FC team that stunned Arsenal in a penalty shootout to reach the second round of the UEFA Women's Champions League.

The Super Falcons shot-stopper saved successive penalties from Frida Maanum and Alessia Russo to knock the London giants out, breaking into dance after the latter save.

Paris have started the league season superbly, too, with a 4-0 win over Lille and a comfortable 3-1 victory over Fleury.

7. Christy Ucheibe, Benfica

Ucheibe was a tough tackler for Nigeria at the FIFA Women's World Cup and has carried her impressive form at that tournament over to her club exploits with Benfica.

The midfielder shone in the Portuguese Women's Super Cup semi-final win over Sporting Braga, in which she slotted home the winning penalty.

Benfica went on to defeat fierce Lisbon rivals Sporting in the final of the tournament, with Ucheibe collecting yet another trophy with the defending league champions.

8. Temwa Chawinga, Wuhan Jiangda

Malawi hammered Seychelles 17-0 in back-to-back matches, scoring 34 goals against them in the space of three days, and Chawinga was on target with a hat-trick in the first of those matches.

Her sister, Tabitha Chawinga, recently signed for Paris Saint-Germain on a season-long loan from their club, Wuhan Jiangda, and is therefore likely to feature at or near the top of this list often throughout the course of this season.

This time, Temwa makes the cut, but is prevented from climbing higher due to the relative weakness of the opposition she faced.

9. Asisat Oshoala, Barcelona

Oshoala had limited game time in September and therefore did not have the chance to climb higher than ninth in our monthly rankings, but despite only playing 15 minutes in Barcelona's Primera Iberdrola opener, she came off the bench to score in the 84th minute.

Oshoala's goal put the result beyond doubt as the defending champions hit the ground running with a 2-0 win over Madrid CFF.

10. Alice Kusi, Fenerbahçe

Ghana dismantled Rwanda 12-0 over two legs in the first round of qualifying for the Women's Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON).

Kusi was the star of the show with four goals in total across the two games, including a first half hat-trick in the second leg.

Avaldsnes' Evelyn Badu, who looks set to be a star in years to come, was also impressive, scoring three goals across the two legs - a brace in the first leg followed by another goal in the second.