Star­lets exit

Ouma be­moans early elim­i­na­tion but vows to fight against Nige­ria

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports Local - BY AGNES MAKHANDIA @dor­ry­tik

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.

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Star­lets’ Wendy Asol and Kin­uthia Mary chal­lenges Cameroon’s Ngo Mb­eleck Genevieve in re­cent friendly.

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