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Bullish Starlets confront Betis in COTIF semi

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Harambee Starlets Esse Akida in action past Espanyol player.

Harambee Starlets Esse Akida in action past Espanyol player.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3- After seeing off tournament favourites Espanyol 3-1 to top group B of the invitational COTIF international women football tournament in Spain, Harambee Starlets will face another Spanish side Real Betis in the semi-finals on Wednesday night.

Real Betis finished second in group A after beating Elche 2-0 on Monday night while the Venezuelan national team tops the group on six points.

Speaking to Capital Sport from Valencia, Starlets team manager Doreen Nabwire says the girls expect a tough contest in the semis, but remains optimistic they are in great form to tackle anyone with their eyes fixed on progressing to the final scheduled for Thursday.

“Every fixture is tough and we expect it to get harder as we progress. We watched Betis play Elche yesterday and they are a very good team tactically and technically. They are playing in the Spanish top league and are worthy opponents,” Nabwire noted.

“It will not be an easy outing for us. But we know what we are required to do, we have more experience from the two matches we have played and our objective remains the same, give the best we can.”

Spedag and Harambee Starlets forward Esse Akida sandwiched by Espanyol players.

Spedag and Harambee Starlets forward Esse Akida sandwiched by Espanyol players.

Spedag forward Esse Akida has been one of the most outstanding players, scoring five of Kenya’s six goals in two matches.

“Scoring is her job and she has done very well so far. Team work has enabled Esse’s work be easier. Everyone in the team is working hard and that’s how we end up playing well,” the team manager said.

Nabwire, a former Kenyan international has admitted that most of the players have attracted attention from scouts who have been watching the tournament and she is hoping one of her players will join the European league.

“Some have attracted interest from clubs here but we will see whether or not they will leave the country,” Nabwire, who is one of the few Kenyan women to play professional football abroad, said.

Real Betis which was founded in 2011 won promotion to the top tier for the first time this year after winning the Segunda Division, the second tier of Spain’s Women Leagues.

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