Kenya failed to take advantage of playing at home against Zambia as they were held to a 2-2 draw in the first-leg tie of the two nations’ match-up of the penultimate round of the 2020 Olympic games qualifiers played on Friday 8 November at the MISC Kasarani.
Harambee Starlets got their goals through Corazone Aquino and an own-goal from Marthe Tembo while the Shepolopolo, who will be buoyed by the two away goals before the return-leg, sealed the draw through strikes from Grace Chanda and Rachael Kundananji.
The second-leg fixture will be played in four days’ time on Tuesday in Zambia with the winner progressing to the final round of the qualifiers for a chance to grace next year’s Olympic games in Japan.
Zambia were by far the more dominant team and had Kenya on the ropes for long stretches with the attacking duo of captain Barbra Banda and Chanda combining to open up the scoring in the 12th minute.
Kenya would however respond with half an hour gone through a fortuitous own-goal to send the two teams level at the break.
A more improved start to the second stanza saw David Ouma’s charges take the lead in the 71st minute through Gaspo Women’s Aquino, who pounced on a spilt shot from the Zambia custodian to tap in from close range.
The lead would however only last for a minute with Kazakhstan based Kundananji take advantage of a goalmouth melee to fire home.
Starlets now need nothing else but a win on Tuesday in the return-leg if they are to advance to the next stage where a tie against either Ivory Coast or Cameroon awaits.
Below is how both teams lined-up;
Starting XI: 1. Annette Kundu (GK), 3. Vivian Nasaka, 15. Wincate Kaari, 5. Dorcas Shikobe (C), 20. Ruth Ingosi, 17. Vivian Corazone, 14. Elizabeth Wambui, 4. Cynthia Shilwatso, 6. Sheril Andiba, 2. Mwanalima Adam, 7. Janet Bundi
Subs: 18. Judith Osimbo (GK), 19. Monica Odato, 11. Nelly Sawe, 19. Lumasia Siliya, 13. Lucy Akoth, 12. Lydia Akoth, 10. Jentrix Shikangwa, 9. Topistar Situma, 8. Mercy Airo
Starting XI: 16. Natasha Hazel, 8. Margaret Belemu, 13. Marthe Tembo, 5. Anita Mulenga, 3. Mweemba Lushomo, 12. Rhoda Chileshe, 7. Zulu Misozi, 17. Mary Mwakapila, 14. Rachael Kundananji, 11. Barbra Banda, 10. Grace Chanda
Subs: 1. Musole Ngambo, 2. Mary Mulenga, 4. Emeldah Musonda , 6. Judith Zulu, 15. Agness Musase, 18. Annie Namonje, 19. Vast Phiri, 9. Hellen Mubanga, 20. Rachael Nachula