July 18, 2024

Harambee Starlets to face Botswana at Nyayo

Harambee Starlets to face Botswana  at Nyayo
Rachel Odhiambo in training at Nyayo stadium

Botswana who jetted in Nairobi on Sunday have quite a number of professional players in their ranks notably their goalkeeper who has won the CAF Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns

Harambee Starlets will look to maximize on home advantage and beat Botswana in a convincing way when the two sides clash on Wednesday at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Kenya hosts Botswana in the first leg of the 2024 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations final round of the qualifiers with the return leg set for a week later in Gaborone.

Starlets who have been in camp for the past week host Botswana with a win of big margin in the back of their minds as the winner of the tie-on aggregate will book a slot in the finals scheduled for Morocco.

The Kenyan girls defied odds to eliminate Cameroon in the past round on post-match penalties after a 1-1 draw on aggregate in regular time.

Botswana on the other hand crushed Gabon 10-1 on aggregate to book a date with Starlets.

Home advantage in such assignments are significant and in this regard, Football Kenya Federation together with the government have waived gate charges for the game set to kick off at 3pm.

Starlets head coach Beldine Odemba admitted that fans played a crucial role in Kenya’s win over Cameroon at Nyayo Stadium and will hope that her girls will draw extra motivation from the stands on Wednesday.

A scan through social media shows that Kenyans consider Botswana a relatively easier opponent than Cameroon but Starlets ought to approach them with caution.

The Zebras made their first appearance in the WAFCON last year in Morocco where they sailed all the way to the last eight of the tournament.

 

Additionally, Botswana who jetted in Nairobi on Sunday have quite a number of professional players in their ranks notably their goalkeeper who has won the CAF Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns.

Odemba who called 29 players last week is expected to name her final squad. Among those who made comeback are former Vihiga Queens skipper Mercyline Wayodi and FK Apolonia Fier’s Lorna Nyarinda.

The France based Lilian Awuor, the red-hot Marjolen Nekesa who has been pumping in goals for fun in the UEFA Champions League and in the Czech Republican league are also making comeback after missing the Cameroon tie.

It will be interesting to see if the duo of Joyking Lady and Fasila Adhiambo who were part of the U20 team will get slots in the final team.

Starlets will miss the services of the China based Jentrix Shikangwa who is injured.