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Harambee Starlets face minnows Djibouti in Cecafa

Tuesday November 19 2019

Kenya's Harambee Starlets forward Mwanahalima

Kenya's Harambee Starlets forward Mwanahalima "Dogo" Adam (left) in action against Ethiopia in their opening Cecafa Women Championship Group 'B' match at Chamazi Stadium on November 17, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY  

LOKEDER NATIOM
By LOKEDER NATIOM
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Kenya's Harambee Starlets will be looking for their second win on Tuesday against Djibouti in the ongoing Council of East and Central African Football Association (Cecafa) women championship at Chamazi Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Starlets head coach, David Ouma, has said the team is highly motivated to face Djibouti following a 2-0 win in their opening match against Ethiopia on Sunday at the same venue. The match will start at 2pm.

Starlets beat their Ethiopian opponents 2-0, with goal coming four minutes apart. Starlet's midfielders, 17-year-old Jentrix Shikangwa and Cynthia Shilwatso, scored in the 79th and 82nd minutes respectively.

“Our win against Ethiopia was refreshing and encouraging to the team. We hope to get to the final this year and to even capitalise on our energy and pace to win it,” said Ouma.

Sunday’s win was particularly important for Starlets, who lost 1-0 to the same opponents in last year’s tournament held in Kigali. Kenya finished fourth on a better goal aggregate after finishing on four points, same as fifth-placed Rwanda. Ethiopia finished third in the tournament won by Tanzania who beat Uganda in the final.

Coach Ouma added that the team will employ a different strategy in Tuesday’s match. The coach said the team has learnt lessons and is looking to improve following a 3-2 aggregate loss to Zambia in the 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers.

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Against Ethiopia on Sunday, Starlets came out guns blazing in the second half with captain Dorcas Shikobe standing firm in defence and Mwanahalima Adam putting pressure on their opponents’ defence.

Kenya is placed in Group ‘B’ of the 10-day competition, with Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti while Group A has Tanzania, Burundi, Zanzibar and South Sudan.

This year's competition is an improvement from last year’s edition that was attended by five countries - defending champions Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

"Djibouti is an unfamiliar opponent for us because we have never played them but based on what we saw in their match against Uganda on Sunday, we have a good chance of doing well in the match. We are not underrating them but we are well prepared to meet them," said Ouma.

Last year's runners-up Uganda hammered Djibouti 13-0 in their first match of the championship on Sunday.

In other matches to be played on Tuesday, Uganda faces Ethiopia from 4.30pm.

The top two teams from each group will proceed to the semi-finals. Group A winners will play runners-up from Group B, while Group B winners tackle runners-up from Group A.

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