Starlets shift focus on second leg after draw

Wednesday March 18 2020

Harambee Starlets midfielder Corazone Aquino dribbles the ball during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games fourth round, first leg qualifier against against Zambia on November 8, 2019 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. The teams drew 2-2. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |


Harambee Starlets assistant coach Jackline Juma believes the team could have put in a better display against Zambia if they had spend more days in camp ahead of the first leg of their Olympics qualifier at Kasarani on Friday.

Starlets left themselves with a mountain to climb ahead of the second leg set for Monday in Lusaka after battling to a 2-2 draw with the Shepolopolo at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

“We had less time to train and our defence really suffered but we are hopeful of a win on Monday as long as the team remains in good spirits. We are not discouraged but more motivated for a win,” said Juma.

Grace Chanda gave the visitors an 13th minute lead before Starlets equalised after Zambia's Marthe Tembo put the ball into her own net at the half hour mark.

Vivian Odhiambo gave Kenya the lead on 75 minutes but the Zambians replied almost immediately after another defensive mix-up through Rachel Kundananji.

David Ouma’s charges reported to camp on Thursday last week, a day after Football Federation of Kenya president had said the team had broken camp owing to lack of funds.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed ordered the team to resume training and paid the girls a visit in camp ahead of the encounter.

Starlets have now to beat Zambia or force a draw of more than two goals at the Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka to advance to the final face of the qualifiers where Ivory Coast or Cameroon await. A 2-2 draw will mean the tie will be decided on post-match penalties.

Shepolopolo goalkeeper Natasha Hazel put up a brave displace at Kasarani, twice denying Mwanahalima Adam and Vivian Odhiambo from close range.

Starlets are set to leave the country for Lusaka on Saturday night.

Cameroon host Ivory Coast on Saturday in the first leg of their tie seeking to upper hand in the qualifier ahead of the second leg.

Ivory Coast edged out both Mali (3-0) and Nigeria (1-1) on aggregate while Cameroon beat both Ethiopia (1-1) on aggregate and DR Congo (3-2) to get to this stage.

The winner of the final round will sail through to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics while the losers will face Chile in the inter-confederation play-offs.