Glasgow FC duo lead surprising Women's Rankings for April

After spending the better part of two years recovering from injury, Janine van Wyk showed in April why she's one of Africa's greatest footballers. Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images

The NWSL Challenge Cup, Sweden's Damallsvenskan and other top competitions returned in April, as well as the resumption of top-flight football in Scotland, which ensured there were plenty of African players in action.

This month has offered not just quantity, but also quality, as African women playing in Spain have been particularly impressive over the past month. This ultimately served only to make our decisions even more challenging.

There are some surprise inclusions on the list, but April's top 10 is undoubtedly brimming with quality.

1= Janine van Wyk, Glasgow City

The Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL) finally experienced one of its highest-profile imports of all time as Janine van Wyk shook off a lengthy injury layoff. Fans were not disappointed as the veteran Banyana Banyana captain starred for Glasgow City while they wrestled top spot away from Rangers.

Van Wyk made her SWPL debut on April 4 in a 3-0 victory over Celtic. She kept her place in the starting lineup for the 7-0 drubbing of Forfar Farmington, but was an unused substitute for the 8-0 thrashing of Motherwell.

South Africa's most-capped footballer came back into the side for the match against Hibernian, starring at the heart of defence and scoring a cracking long-range goal, which thudded in off the post to level the scores after Hibs had taken the lead. Glasgow City went on to win the match 2-1 with van Wyk named Player of the Match.

Glasgow followed up with a 4-0 win over Hearts, with van Wyk an unused substitute. Nevertheless, one could hardly have expected more from the veteran defender, who since returning has looked anything but a 34-year-old who had spent the best part of two years out injured.

1= Ode Fulutudilu, Glasgow City

It is unprecedented for a player in Scotland to top our rankings, let alone for two to share it. However, while Van Wyk hardly put a foot wrong, Fulutudilu's form in April was phenomenal and it would be unjust to place any player above the Banyana Banyana star.

Fulutudilu scored two hat-tricks in her first two Glasgow City games, earning the Player of the Match honours in the 7-0 thrashing of Forfar Farmington and the 8-0 mauling of Motherwell.

In the 2-1 win over Hibernian and the 4-0 hammering of Hearts, Fulutudilu's stupefying footwork, incisive runs and clever hold-up play did not go unnoticed, even though she was not on the scoresheet.

It was no surprise to see Fulutudilu nominated alongside Van Wyk for Glasgow City Player of the Month, though the prize was ultimately won by Priscila Chinchilla.

3. Zenatha Coleman, Sevilla

Coleman has battled injury setbacks of her own in recent months, albeit less serious than Van Wyk's, but the Namibia captain is currently playing at her brilliant best.

Coleman bagged a brace in Namibia's 4-0 win over Angola, also winning the penalty for Thomalina Adams' opener. In a rematch, she set up Emma Naris for the only goal of the game.

At club level, Coleman scored twice in Sevilla's 3-2 upset of Atlético Madrid and set up Maite Albarrán for a goal in the 4-2 defeat to Sporting de Huelva.

4. Jennifer Cudjoe, Gotham FC

Gotham FC have been among the best sides in the ongoing NWSL Challenge Cup, with Jennifer Cudjoe playing an important role as a reliable orchestrator in the middle of the park.

Ghana's Cudjoe played the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over Orlando Pride. She not only repeated this in Gotham's thrilling 4-3 victory over North Carolina Courage, but also picked up an assist.

Cudjoe subsequently played 70 minutes in the 0-0 draw with Washington Spirit, and again in the 0-0 draw with Racing Louisville, which left Gotham on top of Group A with eight points from four matches.

5. Asisat Oshoala, Barcelona

Oshoala failed to score in two April appearances, so she relinquishes top spot in the rankings. Nevertheless, playing for Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain in a UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final alone is worth celebrating, and Oshoala has played a key role in her team progressing this far.

Oshoala was an unused substitute in Barcelona's 7-1 drubbing of Levante before coming off the bench in the 1-1 first leg draw with PSG. She started the 2-0 win over Madrid CFF, but did not get on the scoresheet.

Despite once again failing to score, she started May off on a tremendous high on Sunday as she came off the bench to help Barcelona win the second leg against PSG 2-1, setting up a final date with Chelsea on 16 May.

6. Toni Payne, Sevilla

Nigeria's Payne scored for Sevilla in their 3-2 defeat to Rayo Vallecano, also picking up an assist for Inma Gabarro in the 4-2 loss to Sporting de Huelva. In between, she played the full 90 minutes in Sevilla's 3-2 upset win over Atlético Madrid.

Payne, who only recently made her debut for Nigeria, has scored three goals in 27 Primera Iberdrola fixtures this season.

She has been consistently impressive in recent months since making her debut for the Super Falcons in February in a 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow.

7. Refiloe Jane, AC Milan

Jane started for the Rossonere as they thrashed Napoli 4-0 in the league and downed rivals Inter Milan 4-2 to make the final of the Coppa Italia Women.

Her steady performances in the middle of the park have played a role in taking Milan to the brink of a trophy. Milan were 2-1 down on aggregate to Inter after the first leg, but their second leg victory gave the Rossonere a 4-3 triumph.

Milan are second in Serie A, having lost only two matches all season -- both against league leaders Juventus.

8 . Rasheedat Ajibade, Atlético Madrid

Ajibade is making a name for herself as a rising star at Atlético and scored the only goal of the match in a rare start against Real Sociedad in the Copa de la Reina quarter-finals.

With the scores deadlocked at 0-0 in stoppage time, Ludmila found space on Atlético's right and played a pinpoint ball across the face of goal, where Ajibade was on hand to tap home.

It may only have been Ajibade's second goal for the club she joined from Avaldsnes midway through the Primera Iberdrola season, but at 21 years old, she likely has her best years ahead of her and is already making a name as an impact player.

9. Noko Matlou, Eibar

Matlou has rolled back the years in recent matches, reminding the world why she was the first South African to be named African Women's Footballer of the Year, in 2008.

Her header off Gabriela Salgado's corner saw her score in Banyana Banyana's 3-1 win over Zambia and she then combined with Kgatlana for her second goal of the match. South Africa would go on to defeat Botswana 2-0.

Matlou managed substitute appearances in Eibar's 1-0 win over Real Sociedad and their 2-0 defeat to Santa Teresa.

10. Thembi Kgatlana, Eibar

Eibar started April off with a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad, with Kgatlana setting Sara Navarro up for the winner.

However, it proved another false dawn as a 5-2 defeat to Athletic Bilbao and a 2-0 loss to Santa Teresa followed. Kgatlana's impressive season remains one of few positives for the team in 2020/21.

At international level, Kgatlana was on target for South Africa in wins over both Zambia and Botswana.