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Starlets renew rivalry with Uganda in fiery match

Last updated 7 months ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi

Kenya Harambee Starlets' Ruth Ingosi drible ball away from their goal area 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] .

Harambee Starlets are not taking any chances as they renew their rivalry with Uganda’s Crested Cranes in today’s Cecafa Women’s Championship top of the group encounter at Chamazi Stadium, Dar es Salaam.

The two teams, who are joint leaders in Group B with six points, have already qualified for the semifinals together with champions Tanzania after winning their opening two matches.

Even as Starlets and Crested Cranes seek to finish first in the group, the 4:30pm encounter is set to rekindle a long-time football rivalry between the two neighboring nations.

And having rested some of his key players led by captain Dorcas Shikobe and Cynthia Shilwatso in their emphatic 12-0 victory over Djibouti, Kenya coach David Ouma wants his team to take today’s match with the seriousness it deserves.

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“Both of us (Kenya and Uganda) have qualified for the semifinals, but the match will definitely determine who tops the group. That’s why we are not taking any chances,” said Ouma.

“Regardless of what’s at stake, we would like to give our best and get the maximum points. We will of course give opportunity to other players to perform and hopefully secure a win.”

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Reflecting on Starlets’ huge win against Djibouti on Tuesday, the former Sofapaka coach said the national team has come of age in the regional competition.

“I’m happy for the girls for winning with such a big margin and qualify for the semifinals with a game in hand,” said Ouma.

“We looked more refreshed after the Ethiopia game and that’s why we were able to score many goals with some new faces against Djibouti. 

“We knew they would come to sit back, but we had our strategy and it worked out perfectly well. This shows the team is developing and the players are fully aware of the tactics to be deployed.”