Five things we learned from Starlets, Zambia clash


Five things we learned from Starlets, Zambia clash
Zambia forward Grace Chanda celebrates scoring against Harambee Starlets during their Women Olympic Qualifiers Tokyo 2020 first leg match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi Kenya on November 09, 2019. Photo/Vincent Ooro/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Harambee Starlets squandered the chance to take first leg advantage against Zambia after playing out to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their fourth round 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifier at the Kasarani Stadium on Friday
  • That leaves the Kenyans needing a win or at least scoring draw with more goals during the return leg on Monday in Lusaka. Here is a bit of what we learned and what coach David Ouma can do to drag Starlets over the line

Harambee Starlets squandered the chance to take first leg advantage against Zambia after playing out to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their fourth round 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifier at the Kasarani Stadium on Friday.

That leaves the Kenyans needing a win or at least scoring draw with more goals during the return leg on Monday in Lusaka. Here is a bit of what we learned and what coach David Ouma can do to drag Starlets over the line.

Concentration in Defence

Starlets took too long to settle into the game and were duly punished, conceding a cheap goal just 12 minutes into the game. The second goal came only a minute after they had scored for a 2-1 lead, indication another obvious lapse in concentration. Captain Dorcas Shikobe was the rare cool head at the back but the rest of the backline must step up.

Get Adam Involved

Teams often play to the strengths of their best players and Starlets failed to utilize their most potent weapon in Mwanahalima Adam. We know her legs are full of goals but we saw the little out of her full capability. Many a times you would see her dropping deep in the middle of the park to collect balls which made it very difficult for her to get the clear cut chances-which after all were not created at all.

The same case was to Janet Bundi and Elizabeth Mutukiza where they played wide. They always looked to give something extra whene they had the ball but very often did we see them being fed with enough balls. Our second goal came through Janet’s wing and we could have bagged more had they been used well.

Belemu Ran the Show

Starlets’ midfield was destroyed, well somehow. You expect much creativity from the midfielders but they were dominated by Margaret Belemu of Shipolopolo who, in my opinion, was woman of the match. The diminutive lady was all over the midfield. As a result,there was no fluidity at the centre of Harambee Starlets, David Ouma has to find a solution to ensure someone will deal with a strong midfield partnership of Zambia’s Lushomo and Belemu.

Shilwatso Shows Promise 

Cynthia Shilwatso is the best number 10 starlets can have right now. However against Zambia, she lacked support from her midfielders. With her tallness, she frequently put on check Zambia’s defence with the aerial balls.

However, our substitutes were poor. Starlets needed a game changer but the likes of Gentrix Shikangwa who came later on had little or zero impact. Starlets would have stand a chance to grab a late winner had the subs stood up well to cause some havoc in Zambia’s defence which looked poor-no wonder they scored an own goal.

Zambia on the Up

The last time Starlets played Zambia they ran out 3-0 victors but the visitors gave an assured performance this time round. It is easy to conclude the Zambia are on the up considering but the visitors also played against a team trying to rebuild. Only one player from the team that won away was in the starting line-up on Friday

Credit to Zambia as they looked more dangerous with the ball, always looked like they are scoring the next minute. They passed the ball with fluidity, they know who their main targets are [Barbra Banda and Misozi Zulu].

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Story By Robbie Chome
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