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September 23, 2018

Kenya's Malkia juniors eye second win as they face off with Nigeria

Kenya’s Susan Megut (L) and Belinda Nanjala blocks a strike from Janet Iweni of Tanzania during their under 20 qualifiers at Kasarani stadium on August 26 
/ oliver morgan
Kenya’s Susan Megut (L) and Belinda Nanjala blocks a strike from Janet Iweni of Tanzania during their under 20 qualifiers at Kasarani stadium on August 26 / oliver morgan

Kenya Under-20 women’s team are chasing their second straight win today as they take on Nigeria in the ongoing African Nation Championship at the Moi Stadium Indoor Arena, Kasarani.

While Kenya will be keen to build on their perfect start, thanks to 3-0 (25- 15,25-21,25-11) win against neighbors Tanzania on Sunday in Pool ‘A’ match, Nigeria will be hoping to make amends and win their first match after surrendering a one set lead to succumb to Cameroon 3-1(25-17, 20-25,15-25,20-25) on Monday.

Kenya coach Paul Gitau remains positive ahead of the clash .

Gitau, who led the Malkia Strikers ‘B’ to win gold medal in the 2015 All Africa Games in Congo, Brazzaville, said he will continue to tinker with the squad as he awaits to unleash his preferred squad when it matters the most.

He said: “If you remember the match against Tanzania, the players I fielded were not my preferred line up and that’s why maybe we committed unforced errors. But after the two sets, I made several substitutions where I fielded my first six players and you saw the difference.”

He added: “At this early stage, you don’t want to use all your cards because I believe other teams are also saving the best for the last and I am not any different as my target is first qualify for the semi-final and see what happens from there but bottom line I am targeting a gold medal.”

Should Kenya win against the West Africans today, they will book an early semi-final slot with one match to spare against fast improving Cameroon on Thursday.

Kenya national secondary school Most Valuable Player Pamela Owino from Nyakach Girls, who is a joy to watch and a fans’ favourite is expected to steer and lead the onslaught for the host alongside impressive Belinda Nanjala.

Meanwhile, two teams will qualify for the World Championship after all. It was earlier communicated that only one team at the end of African Nation Championship will qualify for the Worlds later in the year but a communication from CAVB on Monday night said two teams will proceed to the now 2019 World championship.

“FIVB have confirmed two teams from the African Nation Championship currently undergoing in Nairobi, Kenya will qualify two teams to the 2019 World Championship,” read the communique from CAVB director Howdah Mondy.

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