Sports

Harambee Starlets confident ahead of Botswana in a crucial Cup of Nations qualifier

Wednesday, November 29th, 2023 01:10 | By
Harambee Starlets’ Cynthia Shilwatso trains at Nyayo Stadium yesterday during the final team session ahead of their qualifying match against Botswana. PHOTO/David Ndolo
Harambee Starlets’ Cynthia Shilwatso trains at Nyayo Stadium yesterday during the final team session ahead of their qualifying match against Botswana. PHOTO/David Ndolo

Kenya will be treated to one of the biggest football games in the country today afternoon when the national women’s football team Harambee Starlets battle it out with Botswana at the Nyayo National Stadium

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The epic showdown is the first leg of the second round of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers and kicks off at 3pm refereed by Egyptian May Ali Mahmoud.


Kenya’s camp is brimming with confidence ahead of the monumental encounter against Botswana and the players and the technical bench are focussed on ewalising positive results to take them to the ‘promised land’ Morocco next year.


Harambee Starlets head coach Beldine Odemba says the team is oozing with optimism, calm and under no pressure going to today’s first leg fixture in Nairobi.


“There is no pressure; whether playing at home or away, we want to give it our best regardless of where we play. The girls are in good shape and full of optimism and we are up to the task ahead of us,” Odemba grinned.


The Kenyan team has been boosted with the arrival of defensive midfielder Sheryl Angachi who scored the winning penalty against Cameroon last September at Nyayo to take Harambee Starlets through to the final round of the qualification campaign.


Angachi who has been undergoing military training was due to miss the clash but is now available through the efforts of Ministry of Sports, the Ministry of Defence and Football Kenya Federation.


However, Starlets will miss the services of China-based forward Jentrix Shikangwa who suffered an injury few days before landing in Kenya to link up with the rest of the fold. Striker Terry Engesha also missed yesterday is training and is doubtful for today’s vital assignment for unspecified reasons.


Creative midfielder Mwana Halima Dogo Adam who plays professional football in Turkey with Hakkarigucuspor has expressed her confidence of thrashing their Southern African opponents and the need for the Kenyan fans to turn up in large numbers to support them as they knit Botswana’s toppling.
“It is a good opportunity for us as Kenyans, we want to give our all, we are playing for the badge and I know the names at the back we will remembered forever.


I would to urge our fans to turn up in large numbers to support us, as we have always promised, we will not fail them at all. Let the fans come and they will enjoy, they will be happy.


We want to win this game here in Nairobi and go to Botswana to just to enjoy,” said Mwanahalima.
Botswana landed in the country on Sunday evening and sampled a feel of the match-day venue yesterday.


The Mares eliminated Gabon with an impressive 10-1 aggregate win with Double Action forward Ontlamstes Goanvadiwe doing the extensive damage to the Wes African nations by netting four goals.

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