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Kenya’s Rising Starlets look to finish the job in Angola

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The Rising Starlets applaud the fans during the first leg match in Nairobi.
The Rising Starlets applaud the fans during the first leg match in Nairobi.
  • Starlets lead 6-1 from the first leg
  • They just need to avoid a heavy defeat to progress
  • Qualification will book them a slot against either Cameroon or Botswana

Kenya’s Rising Starlets will take on Angola in Luanda on Saturday night, looking to finish the job and qualify for the third round of qualification for the 2024 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The Kenyan girls lead 6-1 from the first leg played in Nairobi last weekend and will only need to avoid defeat to make the third round.

The team arrived in Angola on Wednesday night and have had two training sessions in Luanda, including Friday night’s feel of the match venue.

Head coach Beldine Odemba says that despite having a massive lead from the first leg, they will not be complacent and will approach the match with a 100 percent focused mentality to ensure there are no surprises.

“We are not going into this match with an approach as though we have won. Of course we won in the first leg but this is never over until after the return leg. The players are ready; they know we are going for more goals. There is never a big lead, it is just a lead from the first leg anything can happen in second leg,” Odemba said after the team’s final training session in Nairobi.

The team will only need any kind of a draw or a win to progress. A loss, would still take them through, as long as it is under four goals.

Going all out for a win 

The Rising Starlets celebrate one of their six goals during the first leg match in Nairobi.

The Rising Starlets celebrate one of their six goals during the first leg match in Nairobi.

But, this is a scenario that the coach is not looking at and says the players are going all out for a win.

“This is a new game start again have to win. Mentally there is no laxity. We are not going there to defend. We will be going to give go like we did at home,” said the coach.

She says that Angola showed flushes of brilliance despite the massive defeat in Nairobi, and they will not take them lightly.

Midfielder Charity Midewa who scored a brace in the first leg says the team is going there to put out a similar performance and has promised they will bag in more goals.

“We promise Kenyans that we will not fail them. We have prepared well and we have confidence after how we played in the first leg. We are going to score more goals and hopefully, we will put out the same performance we had in Nairobi,” she noted.

Promise brilliant performance 

The Rising Starlets in action against Angola during the first leg match in Nairobi.

The same sentiments are shared by captain Jane Hato, who has promised they will deliver another brilliant performance.

“We have trained well and recovered brilliantly over the last week so we feel full of energy and ready to go. It is never easy playing away from home but that does not scare us. We have confidence and our coaches have also prepared us well so we will give it a good go,” she said.

A win against the Angolans puts Kenya into the third round where a date against either Cameroon or Botswana awaits.

Meanwhile, fellow East African sides Tanzania and Uganda have already qualified for the third round after winning their games massively.

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