Kenyan Starlets held by Zambia in Nairobi

Kenya Zambia women 2

Zambia’s Copper Queens picked two crucial away goals as they held Kenya’s Harambee Starlets to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their fourth round Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifier at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi on Friday evening.

Rachel Kundananji drew the Zambians level barely a minute after Corazone Aquino had scored Kenya’s second goal. The visitors were the first to score through Grace Chanda before defender Marthe Tembo headed into her own net to draw the sides level.

"This game is not over because Kenya is a very good team with good organization. We will work a bit more on our finishing to ensure we win at home," Bruce Mwape, Zambia coach
Kenya Zambia women 4

“I think we should have defended better especially on the wing play. We knew that Zambia had good solid players on the wings and we had planned well for it but unfortunately we couldn’t execute well. It is not over, we will fight in the return leg,” Kenya coach David Ouma said.

His opposite number Bruce Mwape was not elated with the result despite carrying with him two goals to the return tie in Lusaka.

“We should have won this match because that was our plan from the start. This game is not over because Kenya is a very good team with good organization. We will work a bit more on our finishing to ensure we win at home,” he stated.

Chanda broke the deadlock after 13 minutes when she tapped the ball into an empty net after Kenya’s keeper Anette Kundu failed in her bid to parry away a Zulu Misozi cross from the left.

The home girls gave in a fight after going down and should have been level just 10 minutes after going down but Mwanahalima Adam could not beat the keeper one on one after doing brilliantly to control a long pass from Elizabeth Wambui.

The search finally bore fruit on the half hour mark when left back Tembo headed the ball into her own goal as she tried to cut out Cynthia Shilwatso’s cross from the left. Zambia however were not in Nairobi for a draw and they gave a giod attacking account of themselves.

Kenya Zambia women

They almost snatched the lead at the stroke of half time when Barbra Banda slalomed her way into the area, but a timely tackle by Vivian Nasaka blocked her effort from the edge of the six yard box.

In the second half, the Zambians were equally strong and they were close when Banda broke the offside trap off a counter but her loop was stopped by keeper Kundu who was carded for handling the ball inside the box.

The home side on the other end had a chance when the Zambian keeper Hazel Natasha pushed the ball against the upright off Janet Bundi’s shot from the edge of the box. Starlets finally managed to get into the lead when Aquino reacted fastest to tap the ball home after Natasha spilled a shot from Wambui.

But, the visitors struck back immediately after the restart when Kundananji struck the ball home after keeper Kundu spilled a harmless looking cross from the right.

Fixtures Fourth Round

First Leg

08.11.2019 Nairobi Kenya 2-2 Zambia

09.11.2019 Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire vs Cameroon

Second Leg

11.11.2019 Lusaka Zambia vs Kenya

12.11.2019 Yaounde Cameroon vs Cote d’Ivoire