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Starlets AWCON Hopes Crushed By Equatorial Guinea

Harambee Starlets versus Uganda Crested Cranes during the first leg of their 2018 AWCON qualifier in Machakos on April 4, 2017. PHOTO/FKF
Harambee Starlets versus Uganda Crested Cranes during the first leg of their 2018 AWCON qualifier in Machakos on April 4, 2017. PHOTO/FKF
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MALABO, Equatorial Guinea-Kenya’s hope of qualifying for the 2018 CAF Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) final in Ghana ended on Saturday after Harambee Starlets lost 0-2 to hosts Equatorial Guinea in Malabo.

The goals were scored in the second half at the Estadio de Malabo by  Gloria Chinasa and Salome Nke to help the Nzalang Nacional overturn their first leg defeat in Machakos earlier this week as the two time continental champions booked their place in the 10-team tournament 3-2 on aggregate.

Starlets edged their opponents 2-1 in the first leg of the second and final round of qualifying at Kenyatta Stadium on Wednesday.

Equatorial Guinea now join Cameroon and Ghana who have already qualified for the continental showpiece to be  hosted by the latter in November.

Starlets eliminated neighbors Uganda 1-0 on aggregate to set up a meeting with the West Africans whose fate at the continental showpiece is in doubt since they are banned from the France 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The top three finishers at the November 17 to December 1 tournament where Nigeria are the champions are penned to represent Africa at the global championships.

There was to be no return to the AWCON finals for head coach, David Ouma, who led Starlets to their maiden showing at the continental showpiece in 2016 where Kenya crashed out at the group stages after losing to West African giants, Nigeria, Ghana and Mali.

Ouma, who was restored to the Starlets top job after serving in the Football Kenya Federation Technical Department in March named a strong starting line-up which included first leg scorers, Esse Akida and Teresa Engesha.

Harambee Starlets Starting XI

Poline Atieno (GK), Wendy Achieng (C), Lilian Adera, Dorcas Shikobe, Elizabeth Ambogo, Corazone Aquino, Cheris Avilia, Esse Akida, Neddy Atieno, Mwanahalima Adam, Teresa Engesha

Substitutes

Maureen Shimuli, Doris Anyango, Phelistus Kadari, Vivian Nasaka, Faith Kwamboka, Mercy Achieng, Sheryl Angachi

Equatorial Guinea Starting XI

25. Lucrecia Boabaila (GK) 10. Genoveva Anonman (C), 9. Dorine Nina Chuigoue, 3. Noah Salome Ghyslaine, 21. Laetitia Chapeh Yimga, 5. Jacky Mossomo Annette, 12. Celestina Manga Besecu, 19. Cecilia Akeng Nengono, 4. Esperanza Mbang Mba, 8. Jade Boho Sayo, 15. Gloria Chinasa Okoro

Substitutes

1. Dolores Hernandez Mansogo, 13. Emiliana Nchama Ndong, 11. Luz Milagrosa Obiang, 20. Mari Cruz Oburu, 16. Milagrosa Mecheba Ebako, 14. Ramona Mibuy Ndong, 2. Inmaculada Avelina Ndong


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