Corazone the heroine as Starlets shave Egypt in friendly
Vivian Corazone was the heroine on Friday when she sunk the winner to lift national women football team Harambee Starlets to a 1-0 victory over Egypt at Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani.
After spurning a 13th minute opportunity to put David Ouma’s side ahead, Corazone put the hosts in front in the 33rd when she converted a cross from captain Mary Kinuthia for the lead they never relinquished in a game Starlets wasted chances to embellish the score.
They survived a huge scare in the 24th when Noha Tarek picked herself after being fouled at the edge of the area to send a stinging free-kick to cannon off the cross bar.
Five minutes after the goal went in striker Esse Mbeyu Akida was sent tumbling to earn a promising set piece just outside the danger area but defender Christine Wafula fired her effort over.
Starlets needed the victory over the fellow Africa Women Cup of Nations (Awcon) bound Egypt after suffering defeat by a similar score against tournament hosts Cameroon at the same stadium in their last outing.
Egypt were held to a 1-1 draw by domestic league side Thika Queens on Wednesday before taking on the Starlets.
Immediately after the restart, Egypt Coach Mohamed Mostafa substituted Suzzaine Louise for Esraa Osama and the change almost paid dividends as the midfielder’s long range shot flew just wide of Akinyi’s goal.
Starlets then settled into the half and should have doubled their lead when Corazone failed to hit the target from Nafula’s cross with the net gaping.
It was the striker’s last contribution as she was forced to limp off after sustaining a knock with Sharon Bushenei taking her place up front.
Bushenei was desperate to impress Ouma ahead of the naming of his final Awcon squad and dug into the contest, winning a free-kick just outside the edge of the box after a long mazy run past the Egyptian backline.
Wendy Achieng sent the ball crashing off the crossbar from the resultant free-kick as the Egyptians – who rarely came close to finding the equalizer – held on to avoid further damage.
Report by Richard Obaga
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