Gentrix Shikangwa showed nerves of steel, scoring an extra time penalty as Kenya’s Harambee Starlets beat Ghana’s Black Queens 1-0 at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi to proceed to the fourth round of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifiers.
The game ended tied 0-0 in the normal 90 minutes and with the two teams having played to a similar scoreline in the first leg in Accra, they had to go the full length to find the winner.
Nine minutes into the first period of extra time, Shikangwa stepped up to convert a penalty after Ghana’s Justice Tweneboa handled Sheryl Angachi’s goal bound header on the line.
“I am excited with Gentrix. She came off the bench, took a pressure penalty and scored. You just have to admire such courage from a 17-year old” David Ouma
“We really fought hard in the game today and I want to thank my teammates for the effort they have given. We are happy to have won the game today because Ghana is not an easy team and victory against them has given us so much confidence,” skipper Dorcas Shikobe stated after the win.
Head coach David Ouma was equally elated.
“Having held them to a 0-0 draw in the first leg, we came in with confidence and the first thing we had to do well is ensure we did not concede at home. We had situations to score, but we could not utilize them especially in the first half. But we still remained calm and I am excited with Gentrix. She came off the bench, took a pressure penalty and scored. You just have to admire such courage from a 17-year old,” an elated Ouma stated.
In the opening half, Kenya had chances to score after starting quicker off the mark. Janet Bundi and Corazone Aquino tested the Ghanaian keeper with deft shots from range, both of which were well dealt with.
In the 18th minute, a well weighted long pass from Wincate Kaari landed on an isolated Mercy Airo at the edge of the bx, but the forward took a heavy first touch allowing the keeper to come off his line and collect.
Ghana also had chances to score and the closest was in the 12th minute when Grace Animah cut in from the left but her low shot hit the side netting.
Eight minutes to the break, Priscilla Okyere had a freekick from range well collected by keeper Annette Kundu, though she let it slip off her hands for a corner.
In the second half, head coach David Ouma made changes bringing on Cynthia Shilwatso for Airo, Shikangwa for Bundi and Topister Nafula for Elizabeth Wambui in a bid to spice up the attack.
Nonetheless, the score didn’t change pushing the game into an extra 30 minutes.
Elsewhere in Kinshasa, visiting Cameroon advanced despite suffering a 2-1 loss against DR Congo, progressing 3-2 on aggregate. Isabelle Diakiesse had given the Congolese a 2-0 lead at half time but on-form Ajara Nchout scored late in the game to send Les Lionnes into the penultimate round.
Zambia also proved too strong for host Botswana with a Grance Chanda brace sinking the latter in Francistown as the Copper Queens marched on 3-0 on aggregate.
07.10.2019 Lagos Nigeria 1-1 Cote d’Ivoire (0-0)
08.10.2019 Kinshasa DR Congo 2-1 Cameroon (0-2)
08.10.2019 Nairobi Kenya 1-0 Ghana (0-0)
08.10.2019 Francistown Botswana 0-2 Zambia (0-1)
Fourth Round Fixtures
Cote d’Ivoire vs Cameroon
Kenya vs Zambia