After conquering Botswana and qualifying to the next round of 2016 Rio Olympics qualifiers, Kenya women national team are ready to bring down their next Southern Africa opponent.
Harambee Starlets progressed to the third round after a late Dorcas Sikobe strike helped them beat a resilient Botswana side 1-0 (2-2 aggregate) and qualify on away goals having lost 1-2 in Gaborone.
The win secured David Ouma’s side a clash with South Africa’s Banyana Banyana who eased to the next round with a 5-0 second leg pounding of Gabon at the Dobsonville Stadium to complete an 8-2 aggregate win. Jermaine Seoposenwe netted a brace while Amanda Dlamini, Sanah Mollo and Refiloe Jane scored a goal each.
The sight of such a high score line would demoralize any opponent but not Ouma who is confident that his Harambee Starlets are good enough to battle any side, Banyana notwithstanding.
“Banyana qualified with a huge aggregate win which shows they are a good side,” he noted. “As we prepare for that match, I want my players to remain positive and work hard,” he said.
The Starlets had been beaten 2-1 in the first leg played at Lobaste Sports Complex, Gaborone, a week ago. Mary Kinuthia’s late consolation goal gave Kenya hope ahead of the return leg.
“It was the same script rewritten again. The ladies knew an early goal in our home game was key but despite not achieving that, they kept raiding their opponents till the end,” the manager said.
The third round fixtures will be played on 17-19 July 2015 with the return legs set for 31 July-August 2.
Meanwhile Football Kenya Federation president Sam Nyamweya has revealed that the Harambee Starlets will start earning the same amount of allowances as their male equivalents while on international assignments.
“From now onwards, you will get the same amount the men’s team get while on international duty. What (Victor) Wanyama gets is what you shall be entitled to,” said Nyamweya after returning from the FIFA Congress which culminated into the elections, won by incumbent Sepp Blatter.