NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 7 – Harambee Starlets head coach David Ouma says the team hopes to maximize their home ground advantage when they take on Ghana’s Black Queens in the return leg of the Olympic Qualification tournament third round at the Kasarani Stadium on Tuesday.
Starlets held the Ghanaians to a barren draw in the first leg played in Accra on Friday and will need a win to progress to the penultimate qualification round where a date with either Zambia or Botswana awaits.
“We have to keep the habit of winning at home. We pushed ourselves away and now we have to do better and I hope the players can set their minds to win tomorrow. I want them to go into the match with confidence,” Ouma told Capital Sports on Monday afternoon.
The tactician has lauded the players for their performance away in Accra especially their defensive discipline and now for the crucial return tie, he hopes they can complement their defense with a spice of attack to bag the goals and progress.
“We have set up properly for the return leg. We know our terrain at home very well and we can get confidence from the result away. We tried to contain Ghana away in the best possibility we could and we had three chances in the second half which we should have done better,” the coach noted.
“But now, we are at home and we now know how Ghana play. We know their strengths and weaknesses and we need to ensure that we exploit their weaknesses to the maximum at all costs,” the tactician further stated.
For the 2016 Olympics, Starlets fell off in the penultimate stage, losing 2-0 on aggregate to eventual tournament winners South Africa with identical 1-0 defeats home and away.
This time though, Ouma who was still in charge at that time says they are a better outfit with more self-belief and a rejuvenated squad hungry for success.
“We have done very well with the Federation to scout for talent from all over the country and now we have a strong squad. The players know that the door is open for everyone and all of them are working hard to keep their places,” stated Ouma.
He added; “The team is developing and growing in each game. I want them to express themselves on the pitch tomorrow and show their qualities. Everyone has an equal chance to dream big and qualify and we are on that path. In football, sometimes you need a little faith and a fighting spirit.”
In the hunt for goals, Starlets will look on the prowess of Mwanahalima Adam and youngsters Gentrix Shikangwa and Cynthia Shilwatso as they look to knock on the door of history.