Thika Queens forward Mwanahalima Dogo Adam once again stole the show as Kenya saw off Malawi 3 – 0 in the two nations’ 2020 Olympic Games qualifier at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Sunday 1 September.
Kenya went to the match trailing 2 – 3 from the first leeg played on Wednesday 28 August in Lilongwe and the David Ouma – led team knew just what was required in this clash played behind closed doors.
Mwanahalima gave the Malawians an early warning with a rasping shot that rattled the bar as Kenya went on the offensive while Malawi opted for the surprise lunge forward, with their lethal forward Tabitha Chiwenga a constant threat.
Kenya’s persistence was rewarded in the 18th minute as Mwanahalima held off Patricia Nyirenda well to give Cynthia Shilwatso room for a shot and the Starlets midfielder did well to pick her spot past a flatfooted Samir Amindu in goal.
Starlets should have doubled the lead in the 34th minute had Elizabeth Wambui taken advantage of a defensive mixup in the Malawi area, which saw the keeper miss a Shilwatso attempt, but Wambui’s mistimed touch saw the ball drift to safety.
In the second half Tabitha Chiwenga went close to handing Malawi a crucial leveler after her powerful shot hit the bar before Kenya keeper Ann Kundu could recover and clear the danger.
Mwanahalima on the mark
Reading the signs, Malawi pushed more bodies forward seeking to turn the tie around but that would turn to be a great blunder as they left pockets of space at the back, one of which Mwanahalima took advantage of, outrunning two defenders then deftly chipping past an exposed Amindu for the second goal in the 77th minute.
The goal gave Starlets some good breathing space and they could play with a little more freedom, which paid off in the 87th minute as Mwanahalima grabbed the moment again.
From a long punt forward, the diminutive forward controlled the ball well before beating Maureen Phiri to get Amindu exposed again and she had the easiest of choices to pick her spot. She did just that, with the goal that finished off any hopes for the Malawians.
Kenya will now advance to the third round of the qualifiers, where the team will face the winner of the second round tie between Ghana and Gabon.
Ghana leads 3 – 0 from the first leg of their tie with Gabon.