Ouma bemoans early elimination but vows to fight against Nigeria
Harambee Starlets coach David Ouma has bemoaned the team’s early exit in the ongoing Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) after a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Mali on Wednesday night at the Stade de Limbe.
This is their second defeat in the tournament after losing to Ghana in their first match Group ‘B’ with a similar score line last Sunday.
“We are the first casualty and we have not met our target in our maiden appearance at the women’s Cup of Nations. We wanted to be in the semis. The game was a simple analysis,” said Ouma on the CAF online.
He added: “We got a chance and failed to score but Mali got the same chance and utilised it. We got good chances to score but fantastic
goal-keeping from Mali denied us. Sometimes you need luck in a game.
Our aim is to take the most from every game. We still have a game against Nigeria and there is nothing like resting key players. The players who are fit will play against Nigeria.”
Both teams went into Wednesday’s tie having lost their openers and both needed to win to resurrect their chances to qualify for semis but it was Mali who had the last laugh with a 3-1 win over debutants Kenya.
Mali lost 6-0 to holders Nigeria and will now need to win against Ghana in the final Group ‘B’ match tomorrow to sail to the last four.
Sebe Coulibaly scored a brace in the 37th and 62nd minute while Bassira Toure netted the third goal for the Malians in the 50th minute. Cheris Avilia scored the consolation goal for the Kenya in the 77th minute .
Kenya, who displayed good performance against Ghana despite losing,
were a pale shadow of themselves against their West Africa opponents on Wednesday. Mali on the other hand, showed huge improvement and came into the match with a lot of confidence.
Kenya were unsettled throughout the match and had an open chance barely six minutes into the match but Mary Kinuthia failed to utilise it. Mali continued with their bright start and could have scored in the 24th minute through Toure but her efforts were cleared by Carolyne Anyango.
Mali’s continued to pile pressure and their efforts paid off in the 37th minute when Coulibaly lifted the ball over the line to score with Kenyan keeper Samantha Akinyi well beaten heading into the breather.
On resumption, Ouma made three substitution at ago, bringing Jacky Ogol, Lydia Akoth and Janet Bundi for Carolyne Anyango, Mercy Achieng and Corazone Aquino respectively.
Starlets’ Wendy Asol and Kinuthia Mary challenges Cameroon’s Ngo Mbeleck Genevieve in recent friendly.