Kenya women’s hockey team launched their qualification campaign for the 2016 Olympic Games with a 2-0 win over Namibia at the Randburg Stadium, Johannesburg on Friday.
Two first half goals from Lillian Aura and Audrey Omaido gave the women’s team a perfect start in the event.
Aura put Kenya ahead in the 20th minute through a field goal that beat Namibia keeper Petro Stofberg at her near post before Omaido doubled the lead a minute to half time.
It was the first meeting between the two sides with Namibia making their debut in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Kenyan coach Jos Openda named a strong line-up that consisted of eight Telkom Orange players and three Strathmore Scorpion players. Scorpions forward Gilly Okumu and Yvonne Karanja, the team’s vice-captain won their first caps. Okumu had a memorable debut partnering Orange’s Omaido upfront and was involved in the build-up to Kenya’s second goal.
Kenya began slowly with Namibia dictating possession early on their continental showpiece debut. However, they were punished for failing to turn possession into goals as Kenya took the lead with their first attack of the match as Aura exchanged passes with skipper Tracy Karanja before firing past Stofberg. The Kenyans continued to threaten with a series of short corners before Omaido doubled the lead after she was set up by Okumu's lay off.
ZIMBABWE RUN RIOT
Kenya will on Saturday take on Zimbabwe, who were 9-0 winners over Tanzania in the tournament’s opening match and moved top of the standings after their huge win. Viviers Roxanne scored a hat-trick for the Southern Africa nation while Kelly Kaulback hit a double as Zimbabwe ran riot.
Other players who got their names on the scoresheet were Sarah Evans, Amy Brooke Iman Johnson and Michelle Williams. Zimbabwe were 4-0 up at half time before adding the other five goals in the second half.
Kenya’s Caren Ouma and Deborah Ouma were the first and second umpires of the match.