Starlets remain focused
Kenya’s first goal in the history of the competition,” enthused Ouma. In their opening fixture on Sunday night against the Black Queens from Ghana, Akida put Kenya ahead in the 23rd minute before Samira Suleiman restored parity in the 50th minute. Ghanian Elizabeth Addo scored a debatable and controversial penalty in the 71 st minute before Portia Boakye wrapped up the win for the West Africans in the 91st minute.
Ghana could have gone ahead after barely two minutes of play when Boakye escaped the Kenyan defence but referee Jeanne Ekoumou made an offside call.
Kenyan captain Mary Kinuthia threatened to put Kenya ahead a few minutes later but she shot wide.
With Kenyan side settling into the match, defender Wendy Achieng set up Akida, who easily volleyed from a close range to put the side into the lead in the 23rd minute. Addo then tried to pull one back with a curling free-kick in the dying minutes of the first half, but it fell into the waiting hands of Kenya goalie Samantha Akinyi as Kenya lead 1-0 going in the break.
On resumption, Suleiman restored parity with a superb header in the 51th minute after a free-kick from Boakye following an infringement from Ann Aluoch.
Aluoch then handled the ball in what seemed to be outside the box but the ref pointed to the spot amid huge protests from Starlets with Addo stepping up to put the Black Queens ahead 2-1 in the 71st minute. Boakye then wrap up the win for the Ghanians in the 91st minute with a brilliant free-kick to beat Akinyi in goal.