Women's Power Rankings sees southern Africa's stars dominate in China

With the Spanish women's top flight kick-off delayed and limited football being played in countries such as the USA and Portugal, September is another month of underdogs in the African Women's power rankings.

Three Southern African stars lead the way for their exploits in China, while the contributions of African women have been valuable in Sweden, Russia, Norway, Belarus, and Finland.

There will likely be plenty of movement in October as some star players return to action and others hit full stride.

1. Barbra Banda, Shanghai Shengli

Zambia international Banda was crucial for Shanghai Shengli as they sealed their spot in the Chinese Women's Super League Championship Group.

Shanghai needed a top four spot in the first round standings to qualify, which they sealed with a 7-0 win over Hebei China Fortune. Banda netted her second hat-trick of the campaign in that game and then followed it up with her 12th goal in nine games in a 3-1 victory over Shandong Sports Lottery.

After a second-placed finish in the main standings, Shanghai qualified for the Championship Group along with Wuhan Chedu, Beijing Beikong and Jiangsu Suning.

Their opening game of the Championship round was a 2-2 draw with Beijing in which Banda bagged a brace, making it 14 goals for the season in total.

2. Temwa Chawinga, Wuhan Chedu

The younger of the two Chawinga sisters played a key role in Wuhan Chedu finishing top of the first round standings, chipping in with six goals. Four of these came in the September.

Chawinga opened the scoring with a fine left-footed finish in a 5-0 demolition of Zhejiang Hangzhou on Sept. 5. A week later, she was on target again in a 3-0 thrashing of Banda's Shanghai Shengli.

Chawinga scored against Shandong Sports Lottery in Wuhan's next game, a 3-1 victory. She then chipped in with a header as her team rounded off the first round with a 5-0 drubbing of Guangdong Meizhou.

Wuhan Jiangda began the Championship round with a 1-0 victory over Jiangsu Suning with Chawinga featuring. Her scoring form has not been as relentless as Banda's, but her team is currently best-placed to land the title.

3. Tabitha Chawinga, Jiangsu Suning

Tabitha Chawinga's seven goals saw Jiangsu Suning squeeze into the Championship Group. The defending champions finished on 18 points, edging into the top four along with Beijing Beikong and at the expense of Changchun Dazhong.

Chawinga began the month in fine fashion with a brace in Jiangsu's 5-1 win over Zhejiang Hangzhou. Although they found themselves on the wrong side of a 3-0 thrashing by Shanghai Shengli, Chawinga's goal and assist helped them respond in style with a 4-1 victory over Shandong.

Chawinga then scored both goals as Jiangsu beat Changchun Dazhong Zhuoyue 2-0. She missed the 4-0 win over Guangdong in Round 8 but came off the bench in the 2-1 defeat to Beijing Beikong as her team made the next round regardless.

Despite starting that with a 1-0 defeat to Temwa's Wuhan Chedu, it is too early to write off the defending champions in the title fight.

4. Anam Imo, FC Rosengård

One of the rising stars of Nigerian women's football, Imo was on target twice for the Damallsvenskan's table-topping Rosengård in September.

The first came in the 19-year-old's second start of the campaign, a 3-0 win over Djurgårdens. Imo followed that up with the opener in another 3-0 triumph a week later against KIF Örebro.

The Super Falcons international was once again in the starting lineup against Umeå on Sept. 27, but could not add to her tally for the month in a 0-0 draw.

5. Ajara Nchout, Vålerenga

Nchout slipped into a goal drought for the best part of the last two months, but she ended it in style with four in a 7-0 win over Klepp for Vålerenga. She now sits joint-second on the Norwegian Toppserien's scoring charts.

Nchout capitalised on Synne Jensen's assist to open the scoring against Klepp on Sept. 27. She then teed up Sigrid Heien Hansen for Vålerenga's second goal.

After half-time, Nchout added her second goal with a close-range finish before two further strikes in the late stages of the game put the cherry on top.

6. Uchenna Kanu, Linköping

With seven Damallsvenskan goals to her name this season, Uchenna Kanu is proving to be a consistent threat upfront for Linköping. She netted her most recent two in a 3-0 win over Umeå on Sept. 5.

Kanu was on target in the 21st and 83rd minutes, either side of a Jasmin Nejati own goal. Her first goal was a fine finish from out wide after she intercepted a ball from opposition goalkeeper Tove Enblom. The second saw her round Enblom to slot home once more.

The past month also saw Kanu feature in a 2-1 defeat to Vittsjö and a 1-0 victory over Uppsala. Linköping are currently fourth in the Swedish top flight standings.

7. Gabrielle Onguéné, CSKA Moscow

Cameroon international Onguéné has been consistently impressive for CSKA Moscow this season with seven goals in 10 league matches.

Onguéné scored in the 3-0 win over Yenisey in Moscow on Sept. 12. She then netted again with a perfectly-executed finish from a difficult angle in a 1-0 victory over Zenit two weeks later.

Onguéné has played a key role as CSKA have positioned themselves as frontrunners in the quest to defend their title with 26 points from their opening 10 games.

8. Rasheedat Ajibade, Avaldsnes

Avaldsnes are one of several teams hot on the heels of Vålerenga in the Norwegian Toppserien. Rasheedat Ajibade has been crucial in their title charge, with the 20-year-old Nigeria international's six goals in 12 matches placing her joint fifth on the goalscoring charts.

Ajibade was most recently on target in the 1-1 draw with Lyn on Sept. 27. The draw left her team six points behind the league leaders with a game in hand.

9. Salimata Simporé, Dinamo Minsk

The Burkinabé international may not be playing in an elite league, but her eight goals in two September matches for Dinamo Minsk cannot be overlooked.

Simporé netted five in a 15-0 thrashing of Dnepr Mogilev and three in an 11-0 drubbing of BOTSOR Brest.

Dinamo Minsk top the standings by nine points, having scored an astonishing 103 goals in 17 fixtures with just two conceded.

10. Ode Fulutudilu, Åland United

South Africa international Ode Fulutudilu has found her scoring boots at new club Åland United and was on target three times in September.

She began the month with a brace in a 3-1 victory over Ilves and then followed that up with another goal in another 3-1 win over PK-35 Helsinki. Sandwiched in between these victories was a 1-0 defeat to HJK, but Åland United nevertheless top the Finnish Naisten Liiga with 34 points from 15 games.

Fulutudilu's motive for choosing this move was to win silverware after years of fighting relegation battles and she is on course to succeed.