Africa: Kenya Beat Egypt in Women’s Afcon Build Up Friendly

Kenya’s Harambee Starlets picked up a 1-0 win over Egypt in their penultimate 2016 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations preparatory match on Friday (28 October 2016) at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.

Corazon Adhiambo scored the lone goal in the first half as Kenya grabbed a confidence boosting win, coming less than a week after losing to Cameroon via the same score-line at the same venue.

The North Africans arrived in Kenya on Tuesday and played Kenya Women’s Premier League side Thika Queens in a friendly which ended 1-1, and had just come from a training camp in South Africa.

Mohamed Mostafa, the Egyptian coach said he was content with the result and blamed the loss on fatigue.

“We have been camping in South Africa and this was our third match in one week, so definitely there was no way we could have played at high intensity. But the game has given us a good opportunity to see what we need to improve as we head closer to the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations,” Mostafa said after the match.

His opposite number David Ouma was elated after beating a seasoned African team and noted his side is now almost ready for the tournament.

“It was a good display from the girls and dominating a team such as Egypt. We have done everything well and so far I can say we have identified our first team. It is just a matter of polishing up a few things and we will be good to go,” Ouma said.

His sentiments were shared by captain Mary Kinuthia who added; “Egypt wasn’t an easy opponent. We tried our best and winning was a huge thing for us. We are now looking forward to doing the same at the Cup of Nations,” the pint sized winger who provided the assist for the goal said.

The home side had a strong start to the match with Cherish Avilia having the earliest chance, a seventh minute shot saved for a corner. Goal scorer Adhiambo had an opportunity in the 12th minute but her shot from close range after controlling a Kinuthia cross went over.

The jaded Egyptian girls had their first chance in the 23rd minute, Starlets custodian Samantha Akinyi pushing Suzanne Louise’s freekick against the bar from 25 yards out.

The hosts got into the lead in the 36th minute when Adhiambo side footed from close range a cross from Kinuthia. Egypt defender Sara Abdallah had stopped chasing for the ball on the line, thinking it was going out but Starlets skipper Kinuthia kept the chase to pick the ball and cross for Adhiambo to score.

In the second half, the hosts kept the push and Kinuthia was denied by the Egyptian keeper after Akida switched the ball beautifully for her skipper. At the opposite end, Engy Ahmed saw her free-kick go inches over, as the Egyptians searched for an equalizer.

Left back Wendy Achieng came close to doubling Starlets’ lead but her free-kick from the edge of the box came off the upright in the 78th minute. Two minutes to the final whistle, substitute Sharon Bushenei squandered a brilliant chance, allowing the Egyptian keeper to save one on one after a good square pass from Kinuthia.

Kenya, who will be making their debut at the flagship women’s championship are housed in Group B with holders Nigeria, Ghana and Mali whereas Egypt will have to contend with hosts Cameroon, South Africa and Zimbabwe in Group A.

The final tournament has been scheduled for 19 November to 3 December in the Cameroonian cities of Yaounde and Limbe.

Source: Confederation of African Football.