Kenya women’s national team Harambee Starlets edged Equatorial Guinea 2-1 at Machakos’ Kenyatta Stadium Tuesday to move closer to back to back Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifications.
Esse Akida was the heroin – coming off the bench to grab the late winner which gives the Kenyan queens a slender lead heading into the return match Saturday in Malabo.
After sizing each other up in the earlier exchanges, it was the much experienced visitors, who broke the deadlock in the 38th minute through Jade Boho Sayo’s header off Genoveva Anonman corner kick from the right.
But the home girls kept the fight and were handsomely rewarded with the 41st minute leveler through Tereza Engesha who fired over Equatorial Guinea’s keeper Lucrecia Boabiala, who was off her line.
The game ended in a 1-1 draw at the breather.
Starlets started the second half better and should have gone ahead four minutes into play when Dorcas Shikobes’s shot off Cheris Avillia pass missed the target by a whisker.
Another chance for the home side went begging in the 58th minute with Mwanahalima Adam firing marginally wide from substitute Esse Akida’s set up.
Akida took matters into her own hands with just six minutes on the clock – striking home Cynthia Shilwatso’s right cross to hand coach David Ouma the invaluable win.
Starlets will now need any draw in the re-match to make it to the 2018 Ghana AWCON in September.