National women’s football team, Harambee Starlets, host Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses at Nyayo stadium on Tuesday 26 September from 3pm in the return leg of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) first round qualifier.
The Beldine Odemba coached outfit lost to the Central African country by a solitary goal in the first leg played on Friday in Douala and are keen to overturn the result for a shot at featuring in next year’s WAFCON.
An aggregate win for Starlets hands them a ticket to the second and final round of qualification, where they play the winner between Gabon and Botswana between 27 November and 5 December for a slot to the continental showpiece set to be hosted in Morocco.
History and odds are against Odemba’s charges, Starlets having never picked a win against the Cameroonians but the tactician is confident this could be a first. Further, chasing a one-goal deficit seems to give the first-time head coach more assurance that a win is knocking.
“The spirits in camp are high and the players are out to get a good result. I believe we can recover from the slim loss in Douala if we give our best. We have a game plan and if we stick to it, we will pick a win and advance,” Odemba offered adding that conceding early away was down to nerves as it took her charges a bit of time to settle down.
“We have identified our mistakes and corrected them in training. We also understand our opponent better after the first round and are adequately prepared to tackle them for a win,” she added.
The coach has called on fans to turn up in large numbers and cheer the team on, as they seek to keep their WAFCON hopes alive.
Meanwhile, Lionesses’ Easther Mayi Kith, while speaking to Capital sport acknowledged that playing Starlets at home will be no walk in the park.
“We know it will be a tough game as Kenya have home advantage. We need to compete to win. We have worked to fix some things that we saw from the first leg and we are ready,” the Canadian born defender said.
She adds, “We are not worried. We always try to play the best football and we know that we are coming to play against a good team. They play the ball on the ground and we know we need to be strong especially in the middle to prevent them from advancing.”