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In-form Harambee Starlets eye CECAFA semis

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Harambee Starlets forward Esse Akida wheels away in celebration after scoring against Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY
Harambee Starlets forward Esse Akida wheels away in celebration after scoring against Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 13 – The national women football team Harambee Starlets will qualify for the semi finals of this year’s CECAFA Women’s Championship with a victory against Group A leaders Burundi on Tuesday evening in Jinja, Uganda.

Starlets began their campaign in emphatic form, beating hosts Uganda 4-0 while Burundi also had a superb start with a 10-1 thrashing of Zanzibar to go top of the group on goal difference.

A win for Starlets will take them top with six points and will least need a point against Zanzibar in the final match to top the group.

Starlets striker Esse Akida who starred with two goals against Uganda is upbeat the team has enough confidence to topple Burundi despite their emphatic start last Sunday.

“We watched them and they are not that bad. We expect a challenge from them. But at the moment we have so much confidence and I am optimistic the girls can do the job and win. Our target was in the first place to get off the group and we see it as a possibility,” Akida told Capital Sport from Jinja.

The Spedag FC forward has been in superb form for both club and country and was most recently crowned the golden boot winner during the COTIF international tournament in Spain where she scored five goals.

The striker hopes she can translate the same form at CECAFA.

Esse Akida's striking partner at Harambee Starlets Neddy Atieno controls the ball during the match against Uganda Cranes on September 11, 2016 in Jinja, Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY
Esse Akida’s striking partner at Harambee Starlets Neddy Atieno controls the ball during the match against Uganda Cranes on September 11, 2016 in Jinja, Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY

“We have a very good team and we work very well together, creating so many chances in a game and the least I can do as a striker is score. I am positive I can bring the same form back to this tournament,” Akida says.

She adds; “It is not going to be easy however, because I know every team is coming out here wanting to give their best against us. The biggest challenge I expect is Ethiopia because we have played with them severally and the last time they beat us 5-0. But at least, this time things are different. Preparations have been different and the team is stronger.”

Head coach David Ouma is expected to field the same squad that did well against Uganda with Team Manager Doreen Nabwire who un-hung her boots returning to the team after four years probable to start.

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