Kenya go on redemption crusade - Daily Nation

Kenya go on redemption crusade

Saturday August 5 2006

Cameroon national team players (foreground,

Cameroon national team players (foreground, from left) Ngono Mani, Ngo Ndoubuk and Mbida Mekongo go through drills during the team's training at the Kenya Science Teachers College in Nairobi on Thursday. They play against Kenya in an Africa Nations' Cup qualifiers' return match at Kasarani today. 

By CHRIS MUSUMBA and KENNETH NATO

Kenya's national women's football team faces Africa powerhouse Cameroon in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying round return match at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, today.

The match kicks off at 4 pm.

Cameroon national team players (foreground,

Cameroon national team players (foreground, from left) Ngono Mani, Ngo Ndoubuk and Mbida Mekongo go through drills during the team's training at the Kenya Science Teachers College in Nairobi on Thursday. They play against Kenya in an Africa Nations' Cup qualifiers' return match at Kasarani today.

Kenya need to overcome a four-goal deficit against Africa's second best team following their 4-0 hiding at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde in the first leg match a fortnight ago.

Kenya's under-20 team players to don the national colours at the senior level this afternoon are Naomi Syombua, Caroline Wanjala and Florence Awuor.

In the preliminary rounds, Kenya whipped Djibouti 7-0. Wanjala scored two of those goals. 

Syombua, who will start on the substitutes bench scored Kenya's only goal against Nigeria in the Under-20 qualifiers which Kenya lost 10-1 on aggregate.

Kenya coach Habil Nanjero said his main worry was the defence, which he has strengthened to contain Cameroon.

He said two of the three first 11 players who did duty for the country in the first leg match against Cameroon have recovered from injuries sustained in training.

Ruled out of match

The players are defenders Mary Njeri, who hurt her ankle, and Jacqueline Akoth (toe).

But winger Lucy Mureri, who injured her knee, has been ruled out of the match.

Nanjero said he would assign two strikers forward in a 4-4-2 format as he announced his starting line-up at Kasarani for the match. 

Making the team are Rosemary Aluoch (goalkeeper), Lilian Nandunda, Jackline Akoth, Mary Lucy, Florence Awuor (defenders), Dorcas Nziwa, Tabaka Chacha, Florence Adhiambo, Laurine Nabwire (midfield) while Caroline Wanjala and Martha Karemi will play in the strikers position. Substitutes are Veronica Achieng (goalkeeper), Lucy Mureirui, Mulinge Nzilaini, Grace Sayo, Elizabeth Abongo, Mary Njeri and Naomi Syombua.

Lucozade energy drinks

Kenya Football Federation chairman Alfred Sambu yesterday visited the Kenya team camp and confirmed allowances for the players would be settled last night.

Sambu received, on behalf of the team, Lucozade energy drinks from Alexander Forbes Insurance Brokers.

The drinks were handed over by the company's assistant manager in charge of marketing, Paul Kamau.

Sambu said losing was not an option for the Kenyan girls: "They (Cameroon) are in Kenya and we must show them the way. It will be a different ball game altogether and they should be ready to be beaten." 

Cameroon have played their cards close to their chests, keeping the media at bay.

Coach Charles Kandem said he was not taking chances and would not have his girls resting on their laurels despite their huge goal advantage.

"The Kenyans are good. They are fast and are capable of causing an upset if we become complacent," Kandem said.

The coach said Cameroon would take advantage of their international experience and exposure to cancel any Kenyan advantages.

"We were buoyed by our experience in the first leg and we beat the stubborn Kenyans. This gives us an edge over them," Kandem added..

The Cameroon side boasts of at least five professionals. They include Bernadette Anon, Tecla Koko and Bella Francious who ply their trade in Nigeria.

Two others - Monga Elizabeth and Naomi Ngomo - play in South Africa and France respectively. 

Winners of the match qualify for the biennial finals to be held in Gabon in November.

The defending champions are Nigeria's Golden Falcons who defeated Cameroon to lift their fourth Africa title two years ago.

In other first round matches Algeria carry a slim 1-0 advantage to Cairo while visitors Mali have a 3-1 advantage over Benin.

Tanzania and Senegal were each handed 3-0 defeats by South Africa and Congo respectively and will be hard-pressed to get the four goals they need to advance.

Advertisement