NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – Gentrix Shikangwa scored from the penalty spot nine minutes into extra time as Harambee Starlets beat Ghana’s Black Queens 1-0 to progress to the penultimate round of the qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Shikangwa who had come on as an 80th minute substitute slotted home after Ghana’s Justice Tweneboa handled Sheryl Angachi’s goal bound header on the line.
With nerves of steel, the 17-year old stepped forward, slotted the ball into the bottom right corner to send the sparsely populated Kasarani Stadium into frenzy.
Ghana looked all set to force the game into penalties as they took turns to waste time, but Shikangwa’s calmness infront of goal ensured the home side sailed through.
The defense line led by skipper Dorcas Shikobe put up a shift in the remaining 21 minutes of extra time to see off the nervy result with keeper Annette Kundu making a good save off Portia Boakye late on.
A barren draw in the return tie and over the two legs on aggregate meant the game had to go the full length and Starlets ensured they laughed last.
The victory now means Starlets are through to the fourth round where they will meet either Zambia or Botswana.
On the balance of chances, Starlets should have been ahead by at least two at half time, were they more clinical infront of goal.
Janet Bundi and Corazone Aquino showed intent early with shots from distance, both of which sailed straight to the keeper’s arms.
Mercy Airo had a brilliant chance after 18 minutes when a brilliant Wincate Kaari ball from deep in Kenya’s half found her isolated at the edge of the six yard box, but the forward’s first touch let her down as the ball easily rolled to the keeper.
In between these chances, the Ghanaians had created an opportunity with Grace Animah cutting in from the left to let out a low shot from the edge of the area, but the effort hit the side netting with the Ghanaian bench in celebration thinking it had gone in.
Bundi had another great chance for Starlets when she surged to the edge of the box but instead of taking an aim at goal took too many touches on the ball allowing the Ghanaians to close in.
Minutes later, Mwanahalima Adam had a shot from range fly over.
-Freekick from range
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, Gentrix Shikangwa for Bundi and Topister Nafula for Elizabeth Wambui in a bid to spice up the attack.
However, they could not get in a meaningful effort in the final third, the closest being a Shikangwa shot that went straight to the keeper’s arms.
With a barren draw in regulation time and over the two legs, the game spilled to the extra 30.
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