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Vihiga eye knockout round in CECAFA regional CAF WCL qualifiers

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Vihiga Queens during a training session in Kampala
  • Vihiga Queens won their first match against Zanzibar’s New Generation
  • Victory against AS Kigali women will earn them a knockout place
  • They won the inaugural edition in 2021

Kenya’s Vihiga Queens will take on Rwandese champions As Kigali in their second match at the CECAFA Regional Qualifiers for the CAF Women’s Champions League on Wednesday, with an eye on making it into the knockout phase.

Vihiga started their campaign with a well worked 3-1 victory over Zanzibar’s New Generation and coach Charles Okere is looking towards a second victory that will see them maintain their place on top of Group B.

“We have seen them (Kigali) play and they are a very strong and resilient side. They have sharp forwards and we should work well to contain them defensively. It will not be an easy match,” Okere said ahead of the duel.

He added; “Each game for us in the tournament is a final. The level of competition has really increased this year and each team has come to challenge for the Cup. There is no easy match.”

Kigali started their campaign with defeat and will come in to the Vihiga Game eyes trained on victory to put their knockout phase hopes in check.

Okere wants resilience from his team 

Vihiga Queens warm up before their first match

Meanwhile Okere wants his team to go out with the same resilience they had in their opening match when they came from a goal down to beat New Generation.

“I want to congratulate the girls for the fight to come from a goal down. The goal was a surprise to us because we didn’t expect to concede the way we did. Defensively we have to improve and be more compact,” said the coach.

Against the islanders, Vihiga found themselves on the backfoot when Amina Hemed capitalized on a defensive mistake inside the box to slot in the opener.

But, the Kenyan girls put in a shift to get back into contention and drew level eight minutes to the break when Winnie Babirye curled in a belter from the edge of the box.

They went to the break tied at 1-1, but the Kenyan girls always looked themore dangerous side.

In the second half, Vihiga put in some more fight in their effort and they went into the lead in the 58th minute through defender Ruth Khahosa. Anita Namatah came close to scoring a third but her effort attracted a fine save from the New Generation keeper.

Sealed the victory from the penalty spot 

Vihiga Queens line up before their first match

However, the Kenyan girls sealed their victory from the penalty spot nine minutes to time when substitute Martha Amunyolet slotted home after Namata was fouled inside the box.

Meanwhile in matches played Tuesday, Burundi’s Buja Queens registered a massive victory, beating home side Kampala City Queens 2-1. Buja, who have a huge pool of Kenya’s Harambee Starlets players, were in good form and Topister Situma, formerly with Vihiga Queens struck a brace.

The consolation for the home side came from substitute Elizabeth Nakigozi in the 83rd minute but it was a little too late for the hosts to stage a comeback.

The result means both BUJA Queens and Kampala Queens are level on three points while CBE who thrashed Djibouti’s FAD 8-0 lead the table on six points after back to back victories.

Senafu Wakuma (brace), Ariet Odong (brace), Aregash Tadesse, Loza Abera, Birra Etsegenet and Nardos Getenet scored in CBE’s huge victory. They had started their campaign with victory over Buja.

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