Harambee Starlets thump South Sudan 8-0 as Awcon qualifiers begin

Thursday, October 21st, 2021 00:00 | By
Kenya Harambee Starlets’ striker Neddy Atieno (left) vies for the ball against South Sudan defender Sumaya Malili Taban during a CAF Awcon qualifiuer at Nyayo Stadium yesterday. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Gladys Midecha

National women football team Harambee Starlets yesterday kicked off their campaign for the 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) with a bang after dismissing visiting South Sudan 8-0 in a one sided match at Nyayo Stadium.

After narrowly missing out on a second consecutive appearance at the African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) in 2018, the team under the tutelage of Charles Okere were eager to send a message to their opponents and they did that in style with a resounding win that could have even witnessed a bigger goal margin.

Neddy Atieno who was returning to the team after a short spell out, opened the scoring for Starlets in the second minute courtesy of an assist by Jentrix Shikangwa.

Minutes later she added the  second goal with a over head kick after a defensive blunder by the visitors, but the goal was later ruled to be an own goal. 

As the game progressed, Starlets pilled constant pressure on the visitors with repeated attacks and blew away several clear chances.

Okere then changed tac and Shikangwa twice came close in the 20th and 24th minutes, so was captain Mwanahalima ‘Dogo’ Adam.

Third goal

Starlets added the third goal in the 35th minute courtesy of a Neddy Atieno header  and five minutes later after a few misses, Shikangwa finally got her name in the score sheet as she added the fourth goal to give the hosts a commanding halftime lead.

In the second half, the visitors made a double substitution immediately upon resumption to try and help ease the damage but that did not come to pass as Starlets continued to wreck havoc as they threatened to score whenever they had the ball.

The visitors had their first meaningful chance in the 50th minute, but Starlets custodian Vivian Nasaka put on a good save to deny the Sudanese ladies a goal.

‘Dogo’ who was the tormentor in-chief to the visitors continued to cause havoc to the defense as she saw her attempt for goal go out. 

In the 58th minute, Shikangwa won the ball from a Sudan defender and gave a perfect pass to Atieno who scored her third goal of the day and fifth for the Starlets.

Neddy was not done as the solider went on to score another goal from a good build up to add a sixth goal.

Mwanahalima scored from outside the box with a powerful shot to Make it 7-0  and take it beyond reach for the hosts.

Coach Okere didn’t want to show mercy his opponents as he added more fire power by making a double substitution bringing in Tereza Engesha and midfielder Mercyline Wayodi for Corazon Aquino who had a very quite first half and Luck Akoth.

Player of the match Atieno gave an assist to Jentrix who scored her  second of the day and 8th for Kenya in the 71st minute.

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