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Kenya women team shift focus to regional tourney after COSAFA slip

Neddy Okoth of Kenya celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship football match between Kenya and Mauritius at Luveve Stadium, Bulawayo on September 16, 2017. Courtesy photo.



By Bryson Mykol

FOOTBALL–Kenya women team, The Harambee Starlets, returned home after finishing fourth in the 2017 Council of South African Football Associations (COSAFA) championship held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The tourney that attracted 12 nations, lasted for two weeks and South Africa emerged winners after beating the hosts 2-1.

Kenya represented East Africa as a guest team and the Richard Kanyi coached side staged an astral performance after winning all group matches, against Mozambique, Mauritius and Swaziland. The starlets, however, lost 4-0 to Zimbabwe in semifinals before further going down 4-2 on post-match penalties to Zambia in third-place playoff following a 1-1 draw in normal time.

The team is now setting eyes on this year’s CECAFA Women Challenge Cup slated for November in Kigali, Rwanda.

While talking to the FA portal head shortly after arriving in Nairobi, coach Kanyi expressed his gladness to his team’s performance in COSAFA cup, promising a better show ahead of CECAFA championship.

Richard Kanyi said: “We are happy with the way the team performed. Our focus now turns to the upcoming CECAFA tournament and hopefully, we can build on what we learnt in COSAFA and do even better in the tournament.”

Kenya finished second in last year’s edition held in Jinja, Uganda, after a 2-1 loss to Tanzania.

A big number of regional teams are expected to take part in the November edition in Rwanda. They include; Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Rwanda (the host), among others.

 

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