April 17, 2024

Mathare on fire as women soccer starts

Mathare on fire as women soccer starts

Mathare on fire as women soccer starts

In Kenya, women soccer has for ages been given a cold shoulder by soccer administrators despite the awesome talents existing amongst our local starlets.
The recently introduced UNICEF sponsored National ladies soccer league has come as a welcome reprieve to the budding soccer ladies in Kenya.
The launch of the league over the weekend was full of talent as witnessed by an average crowd on Saturday 5th June when Kisii youth united took on slum girls Mathare in an entertaining debut match at the City stadium in Nairobi.

Surely, if at all one would be mistaken with the imagination of associating good  soccer only to men, then that would not be the thought after watching such a thrilling ,creative, powerful and energetic ladies soccer at the City stadium’s turf.

Kisii’s Lydia Ochwangi was the first woman to go into history books for all the good reasons as the pioneer girl to score a spectacular opening goal in the women’s league .Lydia professionally curled a free kick from the edge of the box leaving the Mathare keeper grappling with the net for the first well celebrated Kisii goal.

The goal invoked the sleeping fire in the Slum girls who restarted the match with goal urgency pushing Kisii to their half in search of an equalizer. Enjoying the home crowd support,Mathare kept piling pressure on Kisii with Chaguo la teeniez sports lady award winner Elizabeth Amboko a.k.a ‘kachali’ finding the much awaited equalizer 10 minutes later.

Mathare exposed their superiority in the midfield as their towering queen of the centre Josephine Afina bullied her opponents with spectacular defense splitting through passes and hard tackles. Her prowess at the centre field sent the crowd into ecstasy as they kept chanting Fabregas-The Arsenal midfielder- in response to all her ball handles.

With the lethal Mathare combination of Afina at the centre, Amboko on the right flank and Mercy the speed heroine on the left, Kisii were in for a long afternoon as the trio kept tormenting their defense with splitting passes.Mathare’s game plan and skills impressed all as they got their second super goal through young Mildred Cheche who fired home a powerful left footed volley sending his team back to the dressing room with a slim 2-1 lead.

Come second half, the Kisii players capitalized on Mathare’s poor endurance opting for long balls outpacing Mathare’s strength at the central midfield. But
Just as the Kisii’s national team trio of Lydia Onchwangi, Irene and Lucy were struggling to find their footing with counter attacks, Mathare’s Mercy skillfully stole a loose ball, dribbled through the defense to easily slot in her 2nd and Mathare’s third goal.

Kisii however pulled a goal back through a penalty when Onchwagi was brought down in the box but their comeback was continually thwarted by the powerful Mathare midfield that resorted to quick aesthetic passes.Pauline Atieno in Mathare's goal also had a busy day making awesome saves to keep his team in the lead.

The match ended 4-2 in favor of Mathare leaving the fans encouraged at the promising league.

“This women play even more entertaining football than men, I cannot believe what I have just seen.Mathare united ni moto sana” commented a Gor mahia fan who was extremely elated at the unexpected turn of events.

The league which was launched amidst pomp and color  will be run by the gorvernment with the support of UNICEF and is aimed at offering girls an opportunity to showcase their talents as well as acquiring life skills.
Speaking at the launch,the guest of honor and assistant minister for sports Kabando Wa Kabando praised the corporates who have been involved in the organization of the tournament.
"I would like to thank those who have helped in making this happen and I assure you that the gorvernment will do everything possible to make the league a success" said the minister.

Also present during the function were sports commissioner Gordon Oluoch,Wilson Lang'at the sports secretary and UNICEF's representative Suleiman Malik.

The league continues next weekend with fixtures in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kakamega.In Nairobi Mbotela kamaliza will be taking on Mathare as Old is Gold take on MOYAS.In Mombasa Solwodi will be dating Sotik all stars while Western Commandos battles it out with Furaha in Kakamega.