Harambee Starlets beat Cameroon to qualify into the second round

Kenya’s Harambee Starlets, the national women football team defeated Indomitable Lionesses to qualify into the second round of the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Beldine Odemba coached side had to wait until the penalties to beat the visitors in post match penalties following 1-1 aggregate with Kenya scoring 4-3 penalties to make it to the second qualifying round at the Nyayo National stadium today.

Cameroon, who won the first leg at their backyard 1-0 courtesy of Spain-based defender Eliane Mambalano came into the second leg as victors but failed to hold onto the hosts when substitute Cynthia Shilwatso volleyed in from outside box to level the score.

With the 1-1 aggregate, the match was forced into the direct penalties with Kenya winning 4-3 for a total of 5-4. They now wait their opponent between Gabon or Botswana in the second round.

Odemba said that they would resume camp shortly to sharpen their claws more ahead of the second round.

“Our focus now shifts to the next round and we are patiently waiting to know who we shall be meeting between Gabon and Botswana,” Odemba said.

Cameroon coach Jean Baptiste Bissek said they experienced a bad day in office. “We were just unfortunate to have lost to Kenya because I still believe we were the better team,” he said.

“Our opponents gave us a good match and they have earned our respect. I also noticed that our players were not as enthusiastic as they were back home in Cameroon.”

It was the first time that Kenya had managed to beat Cameroon. Starlets will now lock horns with the winner between Gabon and Botswana.

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