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Ouma to improve defence ahead of CECAFA final

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Harambee Stars players engage in a light training activity during a training session at the Utalii Ground on September 8 2016.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu
Harambee Stars players engage in a light training activity during a training session at the Utalii Ground on September 8 2016.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18- Harambee Starlets head coach David Ouma has outlined his defensive approach as one of the areas he hopes to improve as the team prepares to face Tanzania in the final of the CECAFA Women’s Championship on Tuesday.

The result came after Kenya was drawn in a tough Pool B of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations where they will face defending champions Nigeria, Ghana and Mali while Pool A has hosts Cameroon, Egypt, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Starlets progressed to the final after a hard fought 3-2 win over Ethiopia’s ‘Lucy’ in the semi-finals on Sunday, conceding for the first time in four matches.

“We would like to be more dominant in terms of our own game, trying to attack well and coordinating play. Also, we need to be able to manage the wide areas, defending with more caution and ensuring we don’t allow in crosses. I think if we do that well, we can dominate the game,” he said.

The tactician was pleased after the side put up a stellar second half performance to come from a goal down to win 3-2 against Ethiopia who beat them 5-0 in their last meeting in Addis Ababa, 2012.

After Starlets had controlled the game well in the opening exchanges including Esse Akida’s 12th minute strike that came off the bar, Losa Abera gave the Ethiopians the lead with a well taken shot from a tight angle.

“It was not an easy match because if you look at the history, Ethiopia have always been better than us. They were good today as well and what made it tougher for us is we lost so many chances in the opening minutes and our confidence went down,” Ouma offered.

Ouma made two changes towards the close of the first half, resting his midfield pairing of Doreen Nabwire and Cherish Avilia, for the more combative pair of Corazin Aquino and Elizabeth Ambogo.

The changes paid off immediately the second half started with Neddy Atieno scoring a quick brace, joining top scorer Esse Akida on top with five goals.

Carolyne Onyango put the game to rest with a thumping header from a Mary Kinuthia corner but the end was made nervous with Abera completing her brace with a sweetly taken volley on the half turn.

Ouma’s girls however managed to defend well, despite Ethiopia surging and throwing everything in attack.

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