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Harambee Starlets all set for Banyana Banyana in Olympics qualifier

Harambee Starlets jet out Thursday for Johannesburg, South Africa, where they will tackle hosts Banyana Banyana on Saturday in the first leg of their Olympics qualifier match.

The two sides will collide at the 8,000-seater UJ Stadium, in Westden from 4pm (5pm Kenyan time).

FKF media liaison officer John Kariuki on Tuesday said that a contingent of 25 will depart Thursday aboard the national carrier Kenya Airways.

Head coach David Ouma is expected to name the final traveling squad Thursday morning before the team’s departure.

By Tuesday, the federation was still working round the clock to secure visas for its contingent.

EXUDING CONFIDENCE

The Starlets, under the tutelage of Sofapaka deputy tactician Ouma, finalised their training on Tuesday at the residential camp in Kasarani and the youthful coach is exuding confidence that her girls can hold against the fancied Banyana Banyana.

“Whenever you are coming into a match as an underdog, it is best that you tackle the opponent using basic tactical skills.”

“We have had good training, the girls are focussed and we are just building confidence ahead of this game,” Ouma said in an interview on Monday.

Heading to the Rainbow Nation, the Starlets will be buoyed by the prospects of getting an away goal to boost their chances of tossing out the South Africans to proceed to the final round of the qualifiers where winners will earn a slot to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Kenya sailed to the second phase of the qualifiers after tossing out Botswana on an away goal rule after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

SIGNATURE MATCH

Skipper Neddy Atieno, who has featured prominently in the last assignments, will once again be relied upon by Ouma to lead her team mates in what will arguably be a signature match.

The return leg to be played at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on August 1.

Squad: Pauline Atieno, Carolyn Chepkoech, Ann Aluoch, Caroline Kiget, Dorcas Shikobe, Irene Ogutu, Mary Kinuthia, Tabaka Chacha, Leila Apiyo, Jennifer Nyamusi, Esse Akida, Maureen Achieng, Neddy Atieno(captain), Caroline Anyango, Harriet Fahiri, Cheris Avilia, Veronica Wafula, Wendy Achieng, Enez Mudeizi and Vivian Akinyi.

Officials: David Ouma (coach), Mary Adhiambo (Assistant coach), Florence Webo (Goalkeeping trainer), Joyce Nduku (Physiologist), Roselyn Adhiambo (Team manager) and Angeline Mwikali (Head of Delegation)