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Starlets hammer Burundi to qualify for CECAFA semis

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Brace hero Neddy Atieno wheels away in celebration alongside captain Mary Kinuthia as Harambee Starlets beat Burundi 4-0 in a CECAFA women's championship match on September 13 in Jinja, Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY

Brace hero Neddy Atieno wheels away in celebration alongside captain Mary Kinuthia as Harambee Starlets beat Burundi 4-0 in a CECAFA women’s championship match on September 13 in Jinja, Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 13- The national women football team Harambee Starlets have qualified for the semi-final of the CECAFA Women Championship in Uganda with a match to spare after beating Burundi 4-0 at the FUFA Technical Centre in Jinja Tuesday afternoon.

Striker Neddy Atieno struck a goal in either half with the other two coming through on-form Esse Akida and skipper Mary Kinuthia.

The African Cup of Nations bound girls will play bottom side Zanzibar in their final group match on Thursday and will need at least a point to top the group and face the second placed team from Group B.

Tanzania leads the group with three points after beating Rwanda 3-2 on Monday evening. Ethiopia, the other team in the group will play their first match of the tournament on Wednesday.

Starlets who came into the match fresh from a 4-0 win over hosts Uganda started the match brightly and had threatened just three minutes in but Atieno missed a decent opportunity from an Akida delivery.

Harambee Starlets forward Esse Akida controls the ball in a CECAFA women's championship match against Burundi on September 13 in Jinja, Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY

Harambee Starlets forward Esse Akida controls the ball in a CECAFA women’s championship match against Burundi on September 13 in Jinja, Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY

Akida who scored a brace in the opener and chasing after the golden boot thought she had netted her third of the tournament but had a 15th minute goal disallowed for offside.

Kenya continued to knock on the Burundian door and Carolyne Anyango came close with a header from a Kinuthia free kick going against the bar.

The persistence finally paid off with Atieno scoring her second of the tournament tapping home after a goalmouth melee.

Skipper Kinuthia also netted her second of the tournament three minutes later beating the Burundian custodian with a long range effort.

Akida finally got her much desired third of the tournament and Kenya’s third in this game, rounding up a decent first half for the Kenyans.

Harambee Starlets players line up before a CECAFA women's championship match against Burundi on September 13 in Jinja, Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY

Harambee Starlets players line up before a CECAFA women’s championship match against Burundi on September 13 in Jinja, Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY

Two minutes into the second half, Kenya wrapped up the game with Atieno scoring her second and Kenya’s fourth.

On the hour mark, Starlets’ head coach David Ouma had the prestige of making three changes at a go, pulling out goal scorers Atieno and Akida for Corazon Aquino and Christine Nafula respectively while the impressive Carolyne Anyango also went out for Jacky Ogol.

The girls play their last group match on Thursday against bottom side Zanzibar and will need in the least a draw to top the pool.

-Additional info courtesy Kawowo Sports-

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