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Harambee Starlets eye victory over Botswana in WAFCON qualifier

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Harambee Starlets during a training session at Nyayo Stadium.
Harambee Starlets during a training session at Nyayo Stadium.
  • The first leg will be staged in Nairobi and return leg in Gaborone
  • Kenya beat Cameroon to make the second round
  • The winner of the two legged match qualifies for next year’s WAFCON

National women’s football team Harambee Starlets will take on Botswana on Wednesday afternoon at the Nyayo National Stadium, seeking a place in next year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.

The two sides clash in the final qualification round, with the winner of the two legged tie clinching the ticket to Morocco.

Kenya’s head coach Beldine Odemba says the team is ready and well prepared for the match, and reckons it will not be an easy outing especially noting at how Botswana has fared over the last few matches.

“We have trained well and everyone is focused and ready for the match. There’s no team that’s unbeatable. We know they (Botswana) have made better strides than us but we have also made our own strides,” the tactician said.

She added; “We have prepared well for them and everyone is focused. We are ready.”

Odemba says starting at home will not be a disadvantage for them, but it will be key to ensure they keep a clean sheet and get a win of a good margin to put them in a better position to qualify as they finish away from home.

Not an easy tie at home 

Harambee Starlets during a training session at Nyayo Stadium.

Harambee Starlets during a training session at Nyayo Stadium.

At the same time, striker Mwanahalima Adam has also admitted it will not be an easy tie, but they are keen to make the most of their home advantage.

“It will be a tough game for sure. Botswana know we knocked out Cameroon and that means we are not an easy team. Our mentality has to be precise and our focus sharp. We will give our all in the 90 minutes on the pitch,” she said.

She adds; “We want to score many goals at home so that we can go away and enjoy the football.”

Her sentiments are echoed by skipper Ruth Ingotsi who says the team has trained well and are looking forward to winning at home.

“The mood is great in camp and the players are ready. The coaches have done their work and now it is our turn to do our job. There is zero pressure on us. We just want to go out there and play a good game, score early goals and battle for a win,” said the defender.

She added; “We know Botswana are good. We don’t fear them but we respect them. We have watched some of their videos just to see how they are and I am sure they have also watched ours. It will be a battle on the pitch and 90 minutes will decide.”

Botswana also eye shock result

Harambee Starlets during a training session at Nyayo Stadium.

Harambee Starlets during a training session at Nyayo Stadium.

Botswana made it to the final round of qualification after edging out Gabon, while Kenya progressed after beating Cameroon.

The Southern Africans trained at the Nyayo Stadium on Tuesday afternoon and say they are ready to give their best and upset Kenya in their own turf.

Head coach Alex Malete says the team is ready for the duel and he expects a tougher assignment compared to their second round conquest over Gabon.

“Games are different. Gabon is not Kenya and also Botswana is not Cameroon. Even for the Kenyan technical team, they will approach the game differently. That is the same for us, we will adapt to what the game demands,” the coach said.

Sadilame Bosija, the team captain, also says the team is determined to get a ticket to the WAFCON.

“It would mean a lot for us if we got a chance to play at the WAFCON. It gives us an opportunity to showcase our talents. We are prepared well and ready for the match against Kenya,” said the skipper.

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