Harambee Starlets out of Rio 2016
The national senior women’s team Harambee Starlets are out of the Rio 2016 Olympics qualifiers after a 1-0 defeat by Banyana Banyana of South Africa in the third round encounter at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.
With the results Banyana Banyana advances to the fourth and final round where they will meet the winner between Nigeria and Editorial Guinea. Rhoda Mulaudzi scored the winning goal for the visitors after 26 minutes of play.
The match started on a low with both teams trying to learn from one another. Head coach David Ouma praised his girls for the results saying they have improved in the qualifiers.
“I congratulate the girls for the match today. We started slow in the first half but conceded. Playing to this level is a plus for the girls. Continue giving the players motivation,” said Ouma.
The visitors were the first to test Starlets custodian Pauline Awino in the second minute when they attacked from a corner kick where Thembi Kgatlana collided with Awino.
Kgatlana was not able to continue with play as she was substituted to bring in Rhoda Mulaudzi.
The home girls had a corner in the twelfth minute but nothing materialised.
In the 20th minute the visitors had their second corner kick after Starlets defenders made a mistake in the penalty area that almost resulted in an own goal.
Although nothing productive came from the corner, Banyana continued to press in Starlets own half with substitute Mulaudzi benefiting from Starlets mistake as she pulled a strike outside the penalty area to beat Awino in the 23rd minute for the first goal of the match.
A minute later the David Ouma coached side almost conceded a second goal when Sanah Mollo blasted the ball over the crossbar.
Wendy Achieng could have equalised in the 30th minute, but her efforts from a 20 yards a free kick could not trouble Roxanne Barker was steady between the posts to push the ball for a corner.
A nice move from Tabaka Chacha and Esse Akida in the added minute of the first stanza went wide as Barker once again stood firm at goal for a 1-0 score by the breather.
After the breather, Ouma made a double substitution to rest Chacha and Cheris Avilia to bring Caroline Anyango and Veronica Wafula respectively.
The change brought more life to the encounter with Starlets attacking more. Wafula went close in 50th minute but her shot went wide.
Wafula was at it again ten minutes later but Barker was outstanding to make a save.
The visitors had taken a slender 1-0 lead advantage to this match from Lebohang Ramalepe strike in the first leg played in South Africa.