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Unlucky Starlets lose COTIF play off battle to Espanyol

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Harambee Starlets forward Esse Akida wheels past an Espanyol opponent during their group match. PHOTO/COTIF

Harambee Starlets forward Esse Akida wheels past an Espanyol opponent during their group match. PHOTO/COTIF

VALENCIA, Spain, Aug 4- Spanish side Espanyol revenged their 2-0 group stage loss against Kenya’s Harambee Starlets in the invitational COTIF women’s football tournament in Spain with a similar score in the third and fourth play-off match played on Thursday evening in Valencia.

Alba Pomares scored the opener for the Spanish side with a close range header in the first half, after sneaking behind the Kenyan defense, to dump the ball past Kenya keeper Samantha Akinyi who made her first start in the tournament in place of Vivian Akinyi.

Starlets had an opportunity to claw back and level later in the first half but the opportunity from the penalty spot went begging with deputy skipper Mary Kinuthia’s effort going against the crossbar.

Espanyol then finished up the job in the second half, from the penalty spot, Anair Lomba slotting the ball into the bottom left of Akinyi’s goal.

The team however left the tourney with a silver lining with forward Esse Akida bagging the tournament’s golden boot having scored five goals.

“It was a very good platform for us to get experience. We leave here as a better team and having learnt a lot. We were a bit unlucky in the last two matches and again some of our players got injuries which made it hard for us to push,” Akida told Capital Sport from Valencia.

“But all the same, we look forward to our next engagements with a lot of positivity and we want to thank everyone who made this possible,” she adds.

The team is set to fly back to the country on Saturday.

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