Cecafa: Starlets seek winning start as they take on Ethiopia

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Sunday, November 17th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Kenya Harambee Starlets' Mwanalima Adam during their first leg of Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifier match against Zambia at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Friday, Nov 8, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

After elimination from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying tournament, Harambee Starlets will be hoping to get off their Cecafa Women Championship to a winning start against Ethiopia, at Chamazi Stadium, Dar es Salaam, today.

The 2pm Group B encounter will be followed by a 4pm fixture between Uganda and Djibouti.

The regional tournament kicked off yesterday with champions Twiga Stars of Tanzania taking on South Sudan in a Group A battle while Zanzibar clashed with Burundi.

And Harambee Starlets coach David Ouma believes the invaluable experience his side gained in the Olympic Qualifiers will play a crucial role in their quest for the regional title.

Kenya lost 2-1 to Twiga Stars in the final of the last edition of the tournament held in 2016 in Jinja, Uganda.

“Cecafa presents us a perfect chance to redeem ourselves. We have played well against strong teams from other regions,” said Ouma.

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“Now we have a good team to compete well at Cecafa and as always we are being considered as a team to beat. But we can’t get carried by that because we know the dynamics of Cecafa.”

Influential Thika Queens forward Mwanalima Adam is equally determined to help the national team bring the trophy home.

“We have learnt a lot from the Olympic qualifiers. We know it won’t be easy in Dar es Saalam but we are determined to make Kenyans proud,” said Adam.

The Starlets will tackle Djibouti in their next match on Tuesday afternoon before wrapping up their preliminary round against rivals Uganda on Thursday.

The top two teams from each group will proceed to the semi-finals stage of the championship slated for Saturday, a day before the finals. [Rodgers Eshitemi]

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