Harambee Starlets drub Mauritius to qualify for COSAFA semis

By alex wafula
Sep 17, 2017
  • Harambee Starlets need only a draw against Swaziland on Monday after winning their opening two matches in The Cosafa Cup. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Sofapaka's Umaru Kasumba shoots against Kariobangi Sharks' Wycliffe Otieno. The match ended in a barren draw. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Centre Referee Collins Opiyo directs Sofapaka and Kariobangi Sharks players. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Harambee Starlets, the national women's football team qualified for the semi-final of the COSAFA Women’s Championship with after an 11-0 drubbing of Mauritius on Saturday in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

This was their a second straight win where striker Neddy Atieno scored four times taking her tournament tally to seven in two games with Mwanahalima Adam and Lucy Mukhwana each scoring two.

Dorcas Shikobe and Cherish Avilia scored one apiece while an own goal from Mauritius deep in stoppage time saw Kenya walk away with the huge victory.

Kenya now need only a point from their last group game against Swaziland on Monday to ensure they finish top of the group.

Within five minutes of the game on Saturday, Kenya was already up and running with Adam controlling a deep corner on the extreme left before slamming home with a thunderous shot.

Pauline Musungu came close for Kenya with a dipping effort from the edge of the box that went against the crossbar after a poorly defended corner by Mauritius.

The winners were dominant, keeping possession and pressing the Mauritians into their own half.

In the 19th minute, Mukhwana found space inside the box after some good passing movement, but Mauritius keeper Jane Betty fully stretched to deny her.

But, one minute later, Harambee Starlets doubled the lead when Atieno raced onto a loose ball after the Maritius keeper had spilled a shot from Mukhwana.

Seven minutes later, the Kenya Defense Forces Private scored her second and three for Kenya with a brilliant individual effort, sprinting away from the left before squeezing the ball at the near post.

Mukhwana then got into the scoresheet as well in the 32nd minute when she lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper from the edge of the box.

Atieno completed her hattrick

Mauritius appeared in tatters and struggled to keep possession and on the stroke of half time, Atieno completed her hatrick superbly with a diving header after connecting to an Adam cross from the right.

The pint-sized forward had done well to drive the ball from deep in Kenya’s half before citing Atieno making the run into the box.

In took only three minutes in the second half for Harambee Starlets to score their sixth when Mukhwana completed her brace with a simple tap from an Atieno cross.

Two minutes later, Kenya were on number seven and Atieno's fourth. The forward lunged on another powerful run on the right, this time breaking into the box, cutting back to her right before hitting a powerful shot into the roof of the net.

Mauritius were overwhelmed and couldn’t find an answer to Kenya’s offense. It got when their keeper Betty picked up an injury, but decided to soldier on.

Kenya continued with the scoring spree, Avillia making it eight just a minute after coming on, sprinting onto a through pass from Caroline Anyango before calmly slotting past the keeper one on one.

For the first time the Mauritiius side managed to get a shot in the Kenyan direction. Marie Bidias struck a freekick from range and it went against the crossbar. Three Mauritius players raced for the rebound, but they bumped into each other, handling the ball in the process.

But that couldn’t stop Kenya from keeping on the attacking flow and in the 70th minute, Mukhwana hit the upright after doing all the hard work to skip past the keeper.

Eight minutes later though, it was number nine for Kenya when skipper Shikobe struck from the edge of the box after a short start to a corner.

Almost immediately, Adam completed her brace racing into the box from the right before shooting low past the keeper.

In the second minute of added time Samantha Raoussie turned the ball into her own net.

Elsewhere, in the only Kenyan Premier League on Saturday, Kariobangi Sharks and Sofapaka drew 0-0 in Machakos.