Kenya national under-20 women’s football team Rising Starlets is confident of registering positive results when they play rivals Uganda on Saturday in the first leg of the second round of the FIFA 2022 U20 World Cup Qualifiers.
Speaking before the match, Starlets head coach Charles Okere said he is unbowed ahead of the match despite players having no experience at the international level.
The Ugandan U20 junior national team jetted into the country on Thursday and will face off against Okere’s junior team comprised of youth and experience.
“We have selected a reach squad with players from both the premier league and the lower divisions whom I trust have the capabilities to steer the team forward to the next stage, “said Okere, fresh from helping Vihiga Queens win the Cecafa Club Championship.
Okere who also doubles as Harambee Starlets head coach will be in charge of the team against the tricky neighbours in the first leg at Nyayo Stadium. The second leg is set for October 8 in Kampala.
"Vihiga set the bar high for women in football and the same glaring cameras will be on the lookout when the Rising Starlets play today. Vihiga put women’s football in the spotlight and all we hope to do is win both legs,” added Okere.
The aggregate winner between Kenya and Uganda will face off with the winner between Mozambique and South Africa in the third round.
Two teams from Africa will be guaranteed spots at the World competition in the end.
Rising Stars squad
Ursula Nasimiyu (Dagoretti Mix), Valentine Khwaka (Zetech Sparks), Lucy Kisaga (Gitothua Starlets,), Edith Auma (Kibera Queens), Sophy Akinyi (Manyatta Ladies).
Veronica Awino (Gaspo Women), Peris Oside (Nakuru Queens), Mercy Masika (Dagoretti Mix), Joyce Andeo (Beijing FC), Eunice Mwangi (Mpesa Foundation), Invioleta Mukoshi (St John’s Kaloleni), Lucy Kahuga (Madira Girls), Martha Simiyu (Falling Waters), Redempta Mercy (Madira Girls)
Medina Abubakar (Uweza Soccer), Drailer Salome (Tigers FC), Lydia Akoth (Zetech Sparks), Maximilla Robi (Beijing FC), Milka Awino (Zetech Sparks), Catherine Aringo (Fortune Ladies), Jane Hato (Madira Girls), Lavender Akinyi (Wiyeta Girls), Mildred Kanyisi (Dagoretti Mix).
Fasila Adhiambo (Dagoretti Mix), Elizabeth Muteshi (Nangili Girls), Sylvia Makungu (Acakoro), Shirlyne Opisa (Wiyeta Girls), Charity Midewa (Madira Girls), Joy Kinglady (Zetech Sparks), Catherine Kizito (Kolwa Falcons)