NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – Cool as ice, Gentrix Shikangwa stepped off the bench to net twice as Kenya’s Harambee Starlets clinched their maiden CECAFA Women’s Championship crown with a 2-0 victory over hosts Tanzania at the Chamazi Complex in Dar es Salaam on Monday evening.
Shikangwa who had scored eight goals in the tournament before the final came on for the injured Janet Bundi early in the second half and proved to be the super sub, breaking the deadlock off the penalty spot in the 70th minute.
The 17-year old sealed and delivered the CECAFA crown three minutes from time with a thunderbolt on her favorite left foot to take the title comfortably into Kenyan territory.
It was sweet revenge for Kenya who lost the 2016 final to the Tanzanians 1-0 in Jinja Uganda.
Shikangwa finished off as the tournament’s top scorer, having scored in every match to finish with 10 and play a crucial role in handing the Starlets their first ever regional crown.
She scored Kenya’s first and her ninth of the tournament in the 70th minute when she slotted home from the penalty spot after Donisia Minja’s handball in the box. Her second was off her trademark left foot as David Ouma’s side finally savored a trophy.
It was a great ending to the year for Starlets who went all the way to the top four in the qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, narrowly bowing out to Zambia after a 3-2 aggregate loss.
The victory came just a day after the Starlets were nominated for the ‘Women’s team of the year’ category while head coach Ouma was shortlisted for the ‘Women’s coach of the year’ at next year’s CAF awards.
Stars have made more history by winning the tournament without conceding a single goal and scoring a whooping 24 goals.
Here are Starlets’ results at the tournament
Ethiopia 0–2 Kenya; (Jentrix Shikangwa 79′(p), Cynthia Shilwatso 80′)
Kenya 12–0 Djibouti; (Vivian Nasaka 13′, Jentrix Shikangwa 14′ 15′(p) 61′ 86′(p), Mwanahalima Adam 35′ 87′ 90′, Janet Bundi 45’+1, Mercy Airo 54′(p) 56′ 65′(p)
Kenya 3–0 Uganda; (Mercy Airo 9′, Mwanahalima Adam 19′, Jentrix Shikangwa 90+2′)
Kenya 5–0 Burundi; (Dorcas Shikobe 14′, Jentrix Shikangwa 54′ 72′, Mwanahalima Adam 67′, Vivian Corazone 78′)
Kenya 2 – 0 Tanzania; (Gentrix Shikangwa 70’(p), 87’)