Harambee Starlets out to finish AWCON job in Malabo
Harambee Stars jetted out of the country on Thursday morning heads high, head coach David Ouma warning opponents Equatorial Guinea the return leg of the last round of African Women Cup of Nations qualifier they are yet to see Kenya’s at her best.
With a 2-1 advantage from Wednesday’s first leg at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, Ouma says the output of his charges away from home will be better.
Ouma points out the zealous charge by Starlets to win the Machakos duel despite going down in the first half injected a spirit of confidence needed when tackling such ‘powerhouses’.
“We should perform better in Malabo with ease than we did at home. We now know them better, pressure is on them playing at home and we are leading. Any draw secures us a place in the Ghana AWCON (September) thus the simple task we have is avoiding conceding.
“The minimum essential step was made when we scored that late goal, so we begin the rematch ahead,” told Ouma.
Esse Akida, arguably Starlets most lethal attacker, scored in the death to seal the victory and is equally confident the Malabo business can be transacted better than the Machakos one.
“When we were getting ready for them (E. Guinea), we knew they are a good and experienced side. We therefore knew a win at home will ease our work away, which is a reality now,” averred the Spedag FC striker.
The hosts, who left Nairobi just hours before Starlets, have their hope pegged in the lone away goal as head coach Daniel Lola offered.
“We played well, we deserved at least a draw but we were unlucky to concede late in the match. We are however happy because we scored away. That counts a lot when we host them at home.
“We also have a better idea of who we are playing so it is not a done deal.”
This will be the second time for Kenya in the AWCON finals if they make it, after the 2016 debut in Cameroon.
Notably, it was Ouma who led the team to the continental fiesta.