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November 16, 2018

Harambee Starlets fall 3-1 to Ghana at Awcon debut

Esse Akida (14) Ann Onyango (8) and Mary Kinuthia (4) of Harambee Starlet celebrates against Uganda’s Falcons during their International Friendly match at Moi Stadium Kisumu on July 3, 2016. Starlets won 4-0. Photo/Fredrick Onyango/www.pic-centre.com (KEN)
Esse Akida (14) Ann Onyango (8) and Mary Kinuthia (4) of Harambee Starlet celebrates against Uganda’s Falcons during their International Friendly match at Moi Stadium Kisumu on July 3, 2016. Starlets won 4-0. Photo/Fredrick Onyango/www.pic-centre.com (KEN)

A valiant Harambee Starlets went down 3-1 against Ghana in their opening match of their debut appearance in the AWCON championships on Sunday night.

Read: History as Harambee Starlets qualify for Africa Cup of Nations

Kenya had taken the lead in the 23rd minute through a well struck screamer by striker Esse Akida but Ghana pulled level five minutes after the break through a Samira Suleman diving header.

The Starlets kept pushing for a renewed breakthrough but their efforts amounted to naught when Ghana extended their lead in the 69th minute through a contested penalty.

The Kenyan beauties came close to snatching an equalizer in the 74th minute but a Mary Kinuthia beautifully struck free kick was purred away by Ghana’s custodian Asantewaa Ama Nana.

In what appeared as a sign of poor officiating, Cameroonian referee Jeanne Ekoumou awarded the Starlets a penalty in the 76th minute but quickly changed her mind for a goal kick after a lengthy back-and-forth with players from both sides.

The Kenyan girls kept pushing for an equalizer in the final minutes of the game but their West African opponents held their ground to stoppage time.

With four minutes of added time on the first minute mark, Ghana grabbed the winner through a Portia Boakye nicely looped free kick condemning Kenya to its first defeat at their first appearance at the continental meet.

Earlier in the day, Nigeria had handed Mali a 6-0 thrashing.

Read also: Webo axed as sexual scandal at Harambee Starlets bite

 

 

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