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'Ethiopia friendly good test for Harambee Starlets,' says Ouma

'Ethiopia friendly good test for Harambee Starlets,' says Ouma
  • Harambee Starlets coach David Ouma has promised attacking football while noting they expect a tough match from their opponents

  • The team will however be without several experienced players – notably Esse Akida as well as the Sweden-based duo of Mary Kinuthia and Christine Nafula - but the tactician is optimistic his charges will still do well against Ethiopia

  • Ethiopia will however be without star striker Loza Abera who has been linked with a move to Malta

The national women football team, Harambee Starlets, take on Ethiopia in a friendly match at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on Saturday as part of preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifying campaign.

Kenya, who got a bye in the first round, face Malawi in the second round of the qualifiers with the first leg set to be played on August 28 in Blantyre while the return will be played four days later in Nairobi. The aggregate winner will face either Gabon or Ghana in the third round.

Harambee Starlets coach David Ouma has promised attacking football while noting they expect a tough match from their opponents.

“We lost to Ethiopia in the Cecafa women’s championship in Rwanda last year and we know they are a strong side, that's why we picked them for the friendly. Our preparations have been very good so far and we are going to attack from the word go,” said Ouma.

The team will however be without several experienced players – notably Esse Akida as well as the Sweden-based duo of Mary Kinuthia and Christine Nafula - but the tactician is optimistic his charges will still do well against the Ethiopia.

“We might have a few additions to the final squad before we face Malawi but I am satisfied with the team and we are confident that we can get the job done,” Ouma told Nation Sport.

The Ethiopians arrived in the country on Thursday evening and held their first training session at the match venue on Friday afternoon. The team’s coach Selam Zereaye says the team is here to learn.

“Kenya have one of the best female teams in this region and they will give us a good test ahead of our 2020 Olympics qualifier against Cameroon. They will help us identify what areas need to be fixed but I am also very confident that we will challenge them despite being away,” said the former St George tactician.

Ethiopia will however be without star striker Loza Abera who has been linked with a move to Malta. The match kicks off at 3pm and entrance will be free.

Harambee Starlets provisional squad

Goalkeepers: Annette Kundu (Eldoret Falcons), Judith Osimbo (Gaspo Women), Wilfreda Seda (Vihiga Queens) and Phiona Awino (Thika Queens)

Defenders: Dorcas Shikobe (Oserian Ladies), Vivian Nasaka (Vihiga Queens), Wincate Kaari (Gaspo Women), Lucy Akoth (Mathare United), Lydia Akoth (Thika Queens), Fosca Nashivanda (Zetech Sparks) and Quinter Atieno (Gaspo Women)

Midfielders: Sharon Khasandi (Kayole Starlet), Corazone Aquino (Gaspo Women), Sheryl Angachi (Gaspo Women), Bertha Omita (Kisumu All Starlets), Jentrix Shikangwa (Wiyeta Girls), Rachael Muema (Thika Queens), Topister Nafula (Vihiga Queens), Mercy Airo (Kisumu All Starlets), Janet Moraa (Eldoret Falcons), Cynthia Kavaya (Kibera Girls Soccer Academy), Elizabeth Wambui (Gaspo Women), Ruth Ingosi (Eldoret Falcons) and Puren Anyetu (Zetech Sparks)

Forwards: Mwanahalima Adam (Thika Queens), Cynthia Shilwatso (Vihiga Queens), Sharon Khalambisia (Solasa Stima Queens), Elizabeth Katungwa (Kwale Girls), Sharon Adhiambo (Makolanders) and Nelly Sawe (Thika Queens)

Ethiopia provisional squad

Goalkeepers: Martha Bekele, Tarikuwa Bergena and Abaynesh Erkelo

Defenders: Meskerem Kanko, Geneme Worku, Meselu Abera, Kidist Zeleke, Bizuayehu Tafesse, Nardos Getnet, Alemnesh Geremew, Netsanet Tsegaye and Estegenet Bizuneh

Midfielders: Hiwot Dengiso, Emebet Addisu, Birtukan Gebrekristos, Senayit Bogale and Aregash Kalsa

Strikers: Mirekat Feleke, Medina Jemal, Senaf Wakuma, Serkaddis Guta and Helen Eshetu