The Kenyan Starlets registered identical 4-0 wins over Uganda in 2016 en route to their first ever appearance at the final tournament of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. They beat the Crested Cranes first in a friendly match before replicating the same result in a competitive meeting during the CECAFA Women’s Senior Challenge Cup.
“It will definitely not be the same. I have followed Uganda over the last two years and they have improved very much. Their league is quite active and that means their players are on a different level. We expect a very tough match from them,” the tactician said.
Ouma rejoined the team a fortnight ago having left for a brief stint at the Technical Department of the Football Kenya Federation and led the team during last week’s friendly win over Zambia in Kitwe, which the Kenyans triumphed 3-0, a morale boosting win ahead of the Uganda clash.
“It was a match which we used to test our systems and new players we brought in. We have five who were in the U-20 team that played in the qualifiers and they showed that they are equal to the task.
“Winning that game was very important for our confidence and we feel we are ready for Uganda. We have worked on the few areas of weakness we noticed and we should be okay,” Ouma added.
Starlets are looking to qualify for their second ever finals having made their debut in 2016 in Cameroon. Ouma is optimistic that they will be in a good position to qualify and starting off at home against the Ugandans, they will have the advantage.
On the other hand, midfielder Corazon Aquino has affirmed the girls will give their all to ensure they qualify for the final tournament, noting they are now a more experienced squad.
“We have played at the finals and we know it is not easy straight from the qualifiers. We know how much it means to play there and we want to experience that feeling all over again,” Aquino noted.
The Starlets have been boosted with the return of sensational striker Esse Akida who missed the Zambia friendly with injury. Akida scored Kenya’s first ever goal at the Women’s AFCON, in the 3-1 loss to Ghana, and was the top scorer at the CECAFA Women’s Champions after netting six goals.
The second leg will take place on Sunday, 8 April 2018 in Kampala.
The final tournament is scheduled for 17 November to 1 December 2018 in the Ghanaian cities of Accra and Cape Coast. The top three teams will represent Africa at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.
Wednesday, 4 April 2018
Senegal vs Algeria
Libya vs Ethiopia
Congo vs Central African Republic
Kenya vs Uganda
Tanzania vs Zambia
Thursday, 5 April 2018
Namibia vs Zimbabwe
Friday, 6 April 2018
Morocco vs Cote d’Ivoire
Lesotho vs Swaziland
Saturday, 7 April 2018
*Sierra Leone vs Mali
Burkina Faso vs Gambia