Kenya Under 20 women football national team is two steps away from qualifying for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, which will be the ninth edition of the biennial international women’s youth championship.
The team headed out yesterday for Accra, Ghana, where an 18-member squad under the tutelage of Carol Ajowi is set to face Ghana’s Black Princesses tomorrow in the second round of qualifiers for the global event.
A win over the Ghanaians will see the team book a third round fixture against the winner of the second round encounter between Cameroon and Sierra Leone. The third round winners will take the two African slots in the World Cup next year.
Ajowi’s charges were among six teams that had to kick-start their campaign with preliminary rounds and the junior Starlets made easy work of their opponents Botswana thrashing them 7-1 away.
The South Africans then withdrew from the return match thus handing Kenya a bye to the first round where the team- was facing neighbours Ethiopia in a two legged affair. In a spectacular display of a fighting spirit, Starlets came from two goals down to force a 2-2 draw away in the last minutes of the match and used home advantage to win the match 2-1 and finish the first round on a 4-3 aggregate and book a second round birth.
On their part Black Princesses started their campaign at the first round level beating Algeria 5-0 in the two legs for a 10-0 aggregate. The team has qualified for the world cup for four consecutive editions thus will be no pushovers.
Ajowi, however, remain optimistic about getting good results against the West African side despite Ghana being one of the heavyweights in Women’s football on the continent and her team missing seven players who did duty in the previous stages as they are sitting for their national exams. – LYNETTE