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Power Rankings: Oshoala the obvious leader of Africa's women in August

Asisat Oshoala was a vital contributor to Barcelona Femini's title-winning season. Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images

While many of the top women's leagues around the world have yet to kick off, Africa has been well-represented across Europe and in China throughout August regardless.

Our inaugural Power Rankings focus on African women who have been active in competitive fixtures. Form is the main factor taken into account, although long-term career achievements are also considered.

Janine van Wyk, for example, does not feature on this list despite her glittering career, as her only game in August was Glasgow City's 9-1 UEFA Champions League quarter-final defeat to Wolfsburg.

The rankings are likely to change significantly as several women's leagues resume in the first weekend of September.

1. Asisat Oshoala, Barcelona Femeni

The Barca forward takes top spot in August for once again flying Nigeria's flag high on the big stage. Oshoala provided the assist for Kheira Hamraoui's match-winner in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Atlético Madrid.

Oshoala had earlier come close to putting Barca in front, timing her run in behind the defence to perfection as she was played through, but firing wide with a first-time shot. Nevertheless, the 25-year-old persisted and her luck soon turned.

She was off balance when she met Caroline Graham Hansen's cross from the right, but was able to shift the ball to Hamraoui with her right foot. The France international buried it into the bottom corner, scoring the only goal of the game.

Barcelona went on to lose 1-0 to Wolfsburg in the semi-finals, but Oshoala can nevertheless be proud of her 2019-20. Her 20 goals were crucial in securing the Primera División title and she supplemented that with the Supercopa de España.

2. Barbra Banda, Shanghai Shengli

Banda began with a bang in China, scoring once and assisting twice in Shanghai Shengli's 5-0 demolition of Zhejiang Hangzhou. The 20-year-old Zambia international then bagged a brace as they downed Changchun Dazhong Zhuoyue 4-1. She followed that up with the only goal in a 1-0 win over Guangdong Meizhou to finish the month.

The 5-0 win in Shanghai's opening game of the Women's Super League season saw Banda open the scoring to cap off her marauding run. She then teed up Tang Jiali for the third and fifth goals of the game -- the latter coming after Banda intercepted a pass in a dangerous area for Zheijang.

The striker once again capitalised on a defensive error in the fifth minute of the match against Dazhong, pinching the ball off an opponent and lobbing the goalkeeper to score the opener. She then left Huang Wang in the dust to net Shanghai's fourth goal and seal the victory.

Up until recently, she was bracing herself to lead the line for Zambia at the Olympic women's football tournament, which was scheduled to take place between 22 July and 7 August prior to postponement. The Copper Queens captain made the most of the past month anyway despite COVID-19 deferring her nation's dream.

3. Temwa Chawinga, Wuhan Chedu

Chawinga joined her older sister, Tabitha, in China in January, and comes in at third place after a soaring start.

Having scored 59 goals in 57 games for Kvarnsveden in Sweden, the younger of the two Malawian sisters has picked up where she left off.

Her new team, Wuhan Chedu, are level with Shanghai at the top of the table. They beat her sister's Jiangsu Suning 3-0 on August 29.

Prior to that, Chawinga starred in two previous games for Wuhan. She won a decisive penalty on her debut, a 2-1 win over Henan Jianye. She then scored twice in the 5-0 victory over Hebei China Fortune in her first start.

4. Tabitha Chawinga, Jiangsu Suning

The elder of the two Chawinga sisters, Tabitha has been the Chinese Women's Super League Player of the Year for two seasons running. She may have lost to her sister recently, but it cannot be forgotten that she paved the way for Temwa's success.

It is also worth noting that Tabitha Chawinga's form for Jiangsu Suning has been impressive once again this season. Prior to the defeat to Wuhan, she scored in victories over Hebei China Fortune and Henan Jianye. This was enough to earn fourth place on our list.

The older Chawinga topped the 2018 Super League goalscoring charts ahead of Oshoala, so it is unsurprising to see her widely linked with a possible big move overseas.

5. Uchenna Kanu, Linköping

The Sweden-based attacker scored the only goal for her team in a 7-1 drubbing by Rosengård before netting a decisive double in the 3-1 victory over Uppsala.

The first of those goals was an equaliser after Rosengård had opened the scoring. However, after the Nigeria international slotted past Zécira Músovic, the tide of the game swung back in the hosts' favour.

Kanu's brace against Uppsala four days later ended a run of three straight defeats for Linköping.

She tore into the opposition defence from the first whistle and had a chance to score in the ninth minute, firing wide of goal. After opening the scoring 12 minutes later, she had more chances in the first half, but was unable to convert another until the hour mark.

6. Ebere Orji, Linköping

Nigeria's Orji scored five goals in her first four Damallsvenskan games of the season, but has not netted in nine since 15 July.

Nevertheless, she had reason to celebrate in the win over Uppsala, as she provided the assist for Lina Hurtig's match-clincher shortly after coming on.

Orji remains a regular in the team, although she has been in and out of the starting lineup. She won the Damallsvenskan Player of the Month award for July.

7. Halimatu Ayinde, Eskilstuna United

The Nigeria midfielder has been an important creative influence for Eskilstuna United. Recently, she provided an assist for Loreta Kullashi in the 3-0 win over Växjö.

Ayinde had been an unused substitute in the previous match, a 3-1 defeat to Uppsala. She kept her place in the starting lineup after the win over Växjö for subsequent fixtures against Umeå, Piteå, Vittsjö and Rosengård.

Eskilstuna lost away to Umeå and Vittsjö, with a 2-0 home win over Piteå in between. They then lost 2-1 at home to Rosengård.

8. Salimata Simporé, Dinamo Minsk

Simporé's superb scoring form for Dinamo has been instrumental throughout 2020. They have won all 15 of their Belarusian Women's Premier League matches and Simporé sits joint fourth in the goalscorers' chart with 11.

In August, she bagged a brace in the 7-2 Belarusian Women's Cup semi-final win over Bobruichanka and scored in the league win against ABFF U19, also featuring in the cup final win over FK Minsk.

Against Bobruichanka, Simporé was played through by Yuliya Slesarchik for Dinamo's second goal 10 minutes in. She added to her tally on the stroke of half-time thanks to Anastasia Shuppo's assist.

Simporé was set up by Anastasiya Linnik just past the half-hour mark in the drubbing of ABFF U19 and paved the way for Dinamo to run riot.

9. Faith Michael, Piteå

The veteran Nigeria defender has been as vital as ever for a struggling Piteå, who sit 10th in the Damallsvenskan, two points above the drop zone.

Michael featured in every minute of action for her team in August, scoring in the 1-1 draw with Djurgårdens. Vilma Koivisto teed her up to score an equaliser which may prove crucial in the survival battle.

10. Linda Motlhalo, Djurgårdens

Rounding up the top 10 is 22-year-old Motlhalo, who has shone in her first season in Sweden and played every minute of their Damallsvenskan action in August.

The Randfontein Ronaldinho, as she is known, scored a brace on debut against AIK in a February 4-2 Swedish Women's Cup win. Her late winner against Vittsjö on 15 July was her first Damallsvenskan goal.

Motlhalo has yet to find the back of the net since, and adding more goals to her game would take the midfielder's promising career to new heights.

African Women abroad: Power rankings August 2020

1. Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona, Spain)

2. Barbra Banda (Shanghai Shengli, China)

3. Temwa Chawinga (Wuhan Chedu, China)

4. Tabitha Chawinga (Jiangsu Suning, China)

5. Uchenna Kanu (Linköping, Sweden)

6. Ebere Orji (Linköping, Sweden)

7. Halimatu Ayinde (Eskilstuna United, Sweden)

8. Salimata Simporé (Dinamo Minsk, Belarus)

9. Faith Michael (Piteå, Sweden)

10. Linda Motlhalo (Djurgårdens, Sweden)