Barcelona's Asisat Oshoala reigns supreme with three hat-tricks in six matches

Barcelona striker Asisat Oshoala continued her seemingly unstoppable run of form in February, registering three hat-tricks in the space of six matches and making a mockery of opposition defences in Spain.

Meanwhile the international break gave several other African stars a chance to shine. There was a notable individual display from Cameroon's Gabrielle Onguéné, who bagged a brace against Thailand, though her country failed to qualify for the FIFA Women's World Cup later this year.

There were also promising performances from young players across Africa, including Morocco and Lille's Nesryne El Chad. Although the 19-year-old did not make the top 10 this month, she is but one reminder of the continent's depth of women's football talent.

1. Asisat Oshoala, Barcelona

February saw Super Falcons striker Oshoala net a second half hat-trick off the bench against Real Betis, sandwiched in between goals against Valencia and Deportivo Alavés, to take her scoring streak for Barcelona to 12 goals in her last six matches - including three hat-tricks.

Despite having to pace herself after coming back from injury, Oshoala has scored 18 Primera Iberdrola goals in as many matches in 2022/23. Last season, she shared the Golden Boot with 20 goals despite missing a significant chunk of Barcelona's title-winning campaign.

This season, with a perfect 19 wins from as many games, Barcelona are five points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table. They are currently on course to repeat their 2021/22 feat of winning the league without dropping a point.

2. Tabitha Chawinga, Inter Milan

Like Oshoala, Chawinga is on a six-game scoring streak for her club, Inter Milan. She has netted eight times in a streak dating back to January 25.

Chawinga started February off with a goal in a 3-0 win over Sassuolo before scoring in defeats to Sampdoria and Roma. The Malawi star then ended the month off with a brace in Inter's 3-1 win over Fiorentina.

Following format changes to the women's Serie A ahead of the current campaign, which is the first fully professional season, the top five teams in the regular season move on to the championship round. Inter have qualified for the playoffs along with Fiorentina, Juventus, AC Milan and Roma.

3. Rosemonde Kouassi, Fleury 91

Ivorian shining star Kouassi netted three times in two matches for Fleury in February as they continue to make a push for a UEFA Women's Champions League place.

Kouassi, 21, was on target once in the 4-0 win over Soyaux and twice in the 6-0 thrashing of Rodez. She took her tally in this season's French Division 1 Féminine to nine goals in 13 appearances as she continues to make relatively light work of scoring in an intense and competitive league.

Fleury are currently fourth in the league, two points behind Paris FC in a repeat of a UEFA Champions League qualification battle which they lost narrowly last season and will be determined to win this time.

4. Chiamaka Nnadozie, Paris FC

Nigeria goalkeeper Nnadozie played three matches for club and country in February, conceding just once in the process.

The 22-year-old stopper began the month by keeping a clean sheet in the 2-0 win over Dijon. She then started for the Super Falcons in the 1-0 defeat to Mexico, before Yewande Balogun took her place in the 1-0 win over Costa Rica.

Nnadozie then returned to club football in style, keeping yet another clean sheet in Paris FC's 3-0 league win over Stade de Reims, which kept them in pole position in the UEFA Women's Champions league qualification race heading into March.

5. Linda Motlhalo, Glasgow City

Motlhalo recently joined Glasgow City from Swedish side Djurgårdens and the Banyana Banyana playmaker has got off to a great start.

South Africa's Motlhalo, who made a brief debut appearance off the bench in the 0-0 draw with Rangers on January 29, opened her account in Scotland on February 5, scoring in the Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL) league leaders' 8-1 thrashing of Partick Thistle.

The 24-year-old also picked up an assist for Priscila Chinchilla in the 7-0 drubbing of Aberdeen after starting in a 3-0 win over Hearts. The Aberdeen result left Glasgow City three points clear of Celtic at the top of the table with three games left to play in the SWPL 1 regular season, before the top six fight it out for the title in the next phase.

6. Jermaine Seoposenwe, FC Juárez

Seoposenwe was the standout performer in South Africa's 3-0 win over Uzbekistan in the Turkish Women's Cup in February.

The forward, who played a crucial role in Banyana Banyana's Women's Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) win last year, tapped home from close range in the 11th minute to open the scoring after Motlhalo's effort came off the post and diverted her way.

Seoposenwe's clever cross led to Banyana doubling their lead three minutes later, as Tojiddinova Shokhida turned it into her own net in an attempt to avoid what would have been a near-certain tap-in had she not intervened.

South Africa went on to draw 1-1 with Slovenia in their second match of the tour and look in fine shape ahead of the World Cup in July and August.

7. Ashleigh Plumptre, Leicester City

Relegation-threatened FA Women's Super League side Leicester City have had an upturn in form recently and although the month of February got off to a poor start in a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City, Plumptre & co. were subsequently able to shut out Liverpool in a crucial 1-0 away win.

Over the international break, Plumptre, usually a centre-back, was utilised in midfield for Nigeria in their 1-0 defeat to Mexico, but sat out the 1-0 win over Costa Rica.

Leicester are currently one point away from safety, but have a game in hand over Reading, the nearest team they are chasing. Should they pull off the great escape, that is bound to bode well for Plumptre as she looks to secure a starting spot for the Super Falcons' World Cup campaign.

8. Gabrielle Onguéné, CSKA Moscow

Cameroon veteran Onguéné once again proved her worth with a brace in the Indomitable Lionesses' 2-0 win over Thailand in the World Cup qualifying playoffs. At 34, she rolled back the years in a clutch performance.

Unfortunately, it was to end in heartbreak for Cameroon as they lost 2-1 to Portugal in the playoff final. A goal from Ajara Nchout Njoya was not enough to counter strikes from Diana Gomes and Carole Costa, the latter of whom scored the winner in stoppage time.

9. Racheal Kundananji, Madrid CFF

Kundananji was on the scoresheet in Madrid CFF's 3-0 win over Villarreal, making it two goals in as many games for the Zambia international.

The 22-year-old has netted 11 times in 18 Primera Iberdrola appearances for Madrid this season, with her side sitting fifth in the league. Kundananji has grown out of Zambia teammate Barbra Banda's shadow since the Tokyo Olympics and looks set to play a crucial role at this year's World Cup.

10. Noxolo Cesane, Stade de Reims

Cesane scored Banyana's third goal in the win over Uzbekistan, putting the cherry on top of the cake with a right-footed half-volley on the rebound in the 26th minute.

The 22-year-old has played a bit-part role for Reims in the middle of the park since joining them in September from the University of the Western Cape, but reminded fans over the international break why she is one to watch for the future.