Kisumu All Starlets’ start to the 2019 Kenya Women’s Premier League couldn’t have started on a more sour note when coach Juma Saidi’s charges went down 3-1 at the hands of Trans Nzoia Falcons on Saturday 2nd. The loss brings to a halt Starlets’ dominant winning streak at Kisumu’s Moi Stadium that had stretched to ten.
Captain Winnie Okello however does not understand how it happened. In her view, Falcons, though a good side, was at their mercy in the opening exchanges. If only they had capitalized on the great start they had strung for themselves.
”I think the morale went down when the visitors scored first because we had been playing well. It was only a matter of making the most of our great start to the game which we didn’t, and dully paid for it.” says Okello when Soka sought her comments after the clash.
Joan Wanjala was the name that drew first blood for the Falcons in Kisumu, but All Starlets soon responded.
”There were a few problems in the way we played some parts of the first half and to some extent- the goal we conceded,” she adds.
After a harsh half time talk from Coach Saidi, the girls came out and fought back at Falcons, getting a chance to equalize from the spot after midfielder Vivian Wanjiru had been felled in the box. Cynthia Achieng stepped up to put the tie at 1-1 briefly after restart.
Falcons, who are in their second season and finished runners up in the top flight last year- were not done it seemed, and striker Waliaula Tumaini soon regained the lead for the visitors in the 67th minute.
To drive the final nail on Starlets’ coffin was Kenya U20 International Martha Amunyolete with a 70th minute penalty.
Fitness is a concern that needs to be addressed according to the Starlets captain.
”One big challenge at Starlets is many of our reliable players come from outside Kisumu and cannot make it to training on a daily basis.
”This is an issue that has been addressed and we are now going to have longer training sessions together so as to gel properly. The Eldoret clash is a must win for us because,” concludes Okello.
Next up for Kisumu All Starlets is a trip to Eldoret to face another league giant Eldoret Falcons on Saturday 9th at the University of Eldoret Grounds. The match day one loss places them in 14th position on the WPL log, just behind their Saturday opponents who also went down on match day one to Mumias side Wadadia.