Starlets commence journey to Rio 2016 Olympic Games
National women football team coach David Ouma is optimistic his charges will outscore their Botswana counterparts over two matches, to enhance the team’s chances of featuring at the Rio Olympic Games next year.
The two teams will meet in the opening leg of the 2015 Caf Olympic qualifiers at the Lobatse Sports Complex on Friday evening.
The return leg will be played in a fortnight’s time at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos County.
Besides the standard preparations for the tie, Ouma also sought the services of motivational speaker and gospel artist Florence Andenyi.
“Listening to and singing alongside our sister (Andenyi) has helped the players build confidence. The forwards have been scoring freely in training and I hope to see them transfering this form on the pitch when it matters” Ouma, who doubles up as KPL club Sofapaka’s assistant coach told Nairobi News.
Botswana coach Gaolethoo “Ronaldo” Nkutlwisang likewise believes her players will win the contest if they cope with Kenya’s speed.
“Kenyans are known for their running. If we can match them on that aspect, am thinking we can pick up a good score at home,” the former Botswana international said.
Nkutlwisang will bank on the Zimbabwe based duo of central defender Lebogang Setereke and custodian Refilwe Tshabani, to shut out Kenya’s Irene Ogutu, Essie Akida and Veronica Wafula, all of whom scored in the 4-0 build up win over GASPO FC on Tuesday afternoon.
Both sides have lost international matches in recent months, with Kenya falling 1-0 to Egypt in a friendly, while Botswana were hammered 5-1 on aggregate by South Africa’s Banyana Banyana in an All Africa Games qualifiers.
The aggregate winner of this fixture will have to successfully negotiate two other rounds of qualification matches for the Rio Olympic Games next year.
Harambee Starlets squad: Pauline Atieno, Samantha Akinyi, Caroline Kigen, Dorcas Shikobe, Irene Ogutu, Mary Kinuthia, Tabaka Chacha, Jacky Ogol, Christine Nafula, Esse Akida, Maurine Achieng’, Neddy Atieno, Caroline Anyango, Harriet Fahiri, Cheris Avilia Veronica