In Summary
  • Entry is free of charge as Football Kenya Federation looks to increase attendance to give the home side maximum advantage.

Harambee Starlets coach David Ouma has issued a rallying cry to Kenyans to show up in large numbers for their Olympic Qualifiers fourth round, first leg match against Zambia’s Shepolopolo on Friday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Entry is free of charge as Football Kenya Federation looks to increase attendance to give the home side maximum advantage.

The Kenyan lasses will be highly dependent on captain and midfielder Corazone Aquino (Gaspo Women) and defender Dorcas Shikobe (Oserian Ladies) to set the pace for the team.

Starlet’s goalkeeper Annette Kundu (Eldoret Falcons) should be weary of Shepolopolo’s strikers Rachael Kundananji (BIIK Kazakhstan) and Barabara Banda (EDF Logrono) who recently returned to the country from their Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) outing with 21 goals and 13 goals under their belts respectively.

“We are not scared of players who have been internationally exposed because we played against better ones in our previous matches and still managed to beat them, plus we can’t afford to lose at home as we expect a large turnout of fans,” said Starlets star midfielder Mwanahalima Adam.

Copper Queens (Shepolopolo) coach Bruce Mwape on Tuesday told the Lusaka Star that he was confident of a win in Nairobi following the beefing up of his squad with foreign-based players.

The stage is thus set for an explosive encounter. The return leg will be held in Lusaka on Monday.

The Starlets beat Malawi (5-3) and Ghana (1-0) on aggregate in their previous rounds to set up Friday’s date with Zambia.

Their Zambian opponents eliminated Botswana (5-0) and Zimbabwe (2-0) on aggregate to reach this stage.

Starlets coach Ouma was extremely confident his squad of experienced players would deliver.

The side also boasts of new call ups defender Providence Kasiala (Wiyeta Girls) and midfielder Sylvia Lumasia (Kibera Girls Soccer Academy).

Ouma told Nation Sport that the FKF and Sports Ministry’s co-operation came at the right time last week, giving the players motivation ahead of the showdown.

“We commend the federation and the ministry for reminding the girls that they are valued and their efforts are not unrecognised. We know there are always challenges and therefore we are grateful for their support in our journey of making history,” said Ouma.

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