Zambia and Nigeria strikers hit form ahead of FIFA Women's World Cup

Lawson: Chelsea grind their way to another title (1:23)

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Zambia striker Racheal Kundananji closed out the Primera Iberdrola season in fine form for Madrid CFF, finishing ahead of Barcelona's Asisat Oshoala in the scoring charts.

Tabitha Chawinga was in equally hot form for Inter in Serie A, and African women's players in England, France, China, Scotland and Russia also feature in this month's power rankings.'

1. Racheal Kundananji, Madrid CFF

Copper Queens striker Kundananji is not in any mood to slow down as she continues to burst onto the scene, and will hope to retain this form heading into the FIFA Women's World Cup in less than a month.

The 22-year-old smashed in a hat-trick in Madrid's 6-2 win over Alhama and then followed up with a goal in a 2-0 victory over Valencia and a brace in the 2-1 upset of Barcelona.

Her fine form in May was not quite enough to secure the top scorers' prize, but Kundananji finished second with 25 goals, behind only Levante's Alba Redondo, who scored 27, and ahead of third-placed Asisat Oshoala, who managed 21 for the season for Barça.

However, Madrid finished the season in fifth place and missed out on qualification for the UEFA Women's Champions League.

2. Tabitha Chawinga, Internazionale

Chawinga has been banging in the goals for Inter Milan with as much aplomb as Kundananji has for Madrid, and comes out a close second in this month's power rankings only due to the relative strength of the Primera Iberdrola compared to Serie A Women.

Nevertheless, Malawi star Chawinga started the month by scoring against Juventus in a 2-2 draw before a hat-trick in the 4-0 drubbing of Fiorentina. She then scored in the 2-1 defeat to Roma.

With the first fully professional women's Serie A season now at a close, 27-year-old Chawinga rounded off with 23 goals in as many appearances for Inter, the most in the league by some distance.

Second-placed Cristiana Girelli (Juventus) finished the season with 15. However, Inter could nevertheless only manage fifth place in the championship playoff standings.

3. Asisat Oshoala, Barcelona

Nigeria star Oshoala scored for Barcelona in their 5-2 win over Real Sociedad to top her Primera Iberdrola goal tally of 20 from last season, going one better this time.

Barcelona will face Wolfsburg in the UEFA Women's Champions League final on June 3 and Oshoala and co. will be hoping to repeat their 2021 triumph. Then, they beat Chelsea 4-0 to make the Super Falcons striker the first African women's player to become a champion of Europe.

4. Barbra Banda, Shanghai Shengli

Like her compatriot and Copper Queens strike partner Kundananji, Banda continues to bang in the goals with the World Cup just around the corner.

The 23-year-old striker has had some notable performances in the Chinese Women's Super League of late, notably her goal and two assists in Shanghai's 5-0 win over Beijing Beikong.

The team suffered a 2-0 defeat to Wuhan Jiangda, but then bounced back with another 5-0 drubbing of Henan Songshan.

5. Chiamaka Nnadozie, Paris FC

It is largely due to the efforts of Super Falcons goalkeeper Nnadozie that Paris FC have once again managed to qualify for the UEFA Women's Champions League, as they did a year ago.

May started in fine fashion for the 22-year-old rising star, as she kept a clean sheet in the derby with giants Paris Saint-Germain.

She then played in the 5-2 win over Soyaux and then kept yet another clean sheet in the 4-0 triumph over Rodez which ensured that Paris secured their place in next season's premier European club competition.

6. Rosella Ayane, Tottenham Hotspur

The 2022/23 FA WSL season may not have been the best experience for Tottenham, but Ayane was one player who had some outstanding games in the second half of the campaign.

The Morocco international finished her season with two assists in Spurs' 2-2 draw to West Ham United, with Beth England, with whom Ayane regularly combined over the last few months, on the end of both.

Tottenham finished the league season in ninth place, with Ayane picking up 1097 minutes in the WSL, her most in a campaign since the start of her career.

7. Gabrielle Onguéné, CSKA Moscow

Onguéné continued her consistent run of form for CSKA as she scored twice in the 3-2 win over Rostov and then once in the following fixture, a 2-0 derby win over Lokomotiv Moscow.

A three-time Russian champion already, the Cameroon striker is having her most prolific season so far, having already scored nine times in 11 games. Her highest tally in the course of a single campaign was 11 in 27 appearances in 2021 and she is well on course to smash that.

8. Linda Motlhalo, Glasgow City

Banyana Banyana midfielder Motlhalo slotted in seamlessly at Glasgow City after joining in January and her efforts were finally rewarded in May as City secured the title, fending off local rivals Celtic and Rangers.

Furthermore, it was her assist that provided the hammer blow in the title race as she set up Lauren Davidson for a stoppage time winner against Rangers in the final game of the season to help City finish two points above Celtic and five above Rangers in the league.

Earlier in May, Motlhalo also made a key contribution in the 3-0 win over Hearts, scoring City's second goal in the 62nd minute.

9. Rasheedat Ajibade, Atlético Madrid

Super Falcons forward Ajibade did not have a season quite as prolific as her last for Atlético Madrid, but at least she was able to pick up a goal in May, getting on the scoresheet in the 1-1 draw with Villarreal.

Ajibade picked up nine goals in 28 appearances this season compared to 10 in 23 in the 2021/22 campaign. Atlético, meanwhile, finished fourth in the Primera Iberdrola and missed out on Champions League football.

Nevertheless, Ajibade has likely done enough to keep herself firmly in contention for Nigeria ahead of the Women's World Cup (July 20 - August 20).

10. Rosemonde Kouassi, Fleury 91

Kouassi finished the French top flight season off with a goal in the 6-0 thrashing of Guingamp. Although Fleury narrowly missed out on Champions League football to Paris FC once again, Ivory Coast international Kouassi had a season to remember with 10 goals from 20 appearances.

Aged 21, Kouassi has a bright future ahead of her and continues to take on an increasingly important role within her team.