SUCCESS-starved Kenya urged on their women’s soccer side at the Cecafa championships but their expectations were oblivious of the fact that the best team in the tournament was Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Queens.

The Queens beat Kenya’s Harambee Starlets 2-1 in the final in Jinja Uganda on Tuesday afternoon the result being what Tanzania expected from their experienced team which had played in the 2010 [women’s] Africa Cup of Nations [AFCON].


Despite being the only Cecafa region team in November’s women’s AFCON [in Cameroon]; the Kenyan women are greenhorns taking part for the first time. But when they started the Cecafa championship with high scoring results, they fancied they would win the title. Ethiopia, three-time AFCON participants and fourth in 2004 were also in the Cecafa tournament and indeed gave Kenya a hard time in the Starlets 3-2 semi-final win.

When pundits gave Kenya the “red-hot” favourites tag for the Cecafa title after huge group ‘A’ stage wins — 4-0 v Burundi, 4-0 v Uganda and 11-0 v Zanzibar   — Tanzania Football Federation [TFF] President, Jamal Malinzi, cautioned the Kenyans that the Tanzanians had the best team despite their group ‘B’ record — 3-2 v Rwanda and 0-0 v Ethiopia.


When the headlines on September 14 said: “Kenya girls riding waves in Cecafa tournament in Jinja,” an apparently well versed Malinzi tweeted: “Not exactly. Kilimanjaro Queens are!” The Kilimanjaro Queens 4-1 rout of Uganda in the semis and a commanding 2-0 by half-time display over Kenya in the Final vindicated Malinzi’s prediction capped with the 2-1 result at the final whistle.

The Starlets were back to a good reception in Nairobi on Wednesday and even if crest-fallen for not having won, in hindsight, they played to the expectation of the knowledgeable.

Fourth place

Kenya have a long way to go to affirm themselves as the best team in the region. After all, even Uganda, beaten to fourth place by Ethiopia on Tuesday, had more AFCON experience that Kenya having taken part in the 2000 AFCON finals.

Previously Kenya tried unsuccessfully to reach the AFCON finals in the qualifiers of 1998, 2000, 2010, 2012 before finally making the 2016 event.

Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye described the women’s even as “very successful, under the circumstances,” referring to the fact the event did not have a sponsor. He hopes there will be enough man for Kenya to host the Cecafa Kagame Cup Club Championship in November and the Cecafa Challenge Cup in December.


The women’s event in Jinja captured the attention of the whole region whose national teams [mainly men) are mostly idle after early eliminations in international tournament qualifiers.

Musonye said that, instead of the regions soccer associations throwing their energy to activity outside “actual football”, they should be mindful of club and international players by laying on for them sustainable international activity in the region.

The only engaged soccer team — national or club — in current continental football is Uganda Cranes, qualified for the 2017 AFCON in Gabon

Kenya Girls Riding Waves In Cecafa Tournament In Jinja

AFRICA Cup of Nations-bound Kenya continued their good performance at the Cecafa Women’s Cup football tournament in Jinja,  Uganda by beating Burundi 4-0 on Tuesday.

The Harambee Starlets had opened with Kenya’s similar 4-0 win over hosts Uganda and are now in the semi-finals of the tournament after topping Group ‘A’. The Kenyans will be the only Cecafa [Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations] region country at the 12th edition Women’s AFCON to be held in Cameroon [October 8-22, 2016].

Kenya 4-0 Burundi

A brace from Neddy Atieno and a goal each from captain Mary Kinuthia and Esse Akida gave Kenya’s Harambee Starlets their second win of the tournament. They will now need just a point from their final group match against Zanzibar on Thursday to finish top of Group ‘A’.

The Starlets will then meet with Group ‘B’s’ second placed team, where Tanzania lead the group currently after beating Rwanda 3-2 on Monday evening. Ethiopia, the other team in the group play the Rwanda’s “She-Amavubi” in their opening match of Wednesday.

The confident Harambee Starlets had to wait till the 29th minute when Atieno tapped home, netting her second goal of the tournament. Three minutes after breaking the deadlock, “Toi” Kinuthia scored from a long range effort to stretch the lead. Akida then scored her third goal of the tournament with another superb strike on 45 minutes.

Two minutes into the second half, Kenya wrapped up the game with Atieno scoring her second and Kenya’s fourth.

Tanzania 3-2 Rwanda

Tanzania started their campaign by edging out Rwanda on Monday. Rwanda now face a huge task of beating Ethiopia if they are to advance.

Tanzania took a deserved 2-0 lead through Asha Rashid and Stumai Abdalla before Rwanda responded via Florence Imanizabayo and an own goal by Anastazia Anton to go 2-2 at half time.

Tanzania returned forcefully and Rashid achieved her brace for her team’s win.

Kenya 4-0 Uganda

Harambee Starlets started their campaign on a high note whipping hosts Uganda 4-0 on the opening day at Njeru Institute ground, Jinja, last Sunday. The Kenyans apparently replicated the 4-0 drubbing they gave Uganda in a friendly two months ago.

Kenya captain Mary Kinuthia, Esse Akida — a brace – and Vivian “Corazon” Onyango were on the score sheet. Kinuthia scored the opener in the 21st minute after a good cross from forward Neddy Atieno Okoth, going into the breather 1-0 before the Starlets came back to finish the job.

Akida scored the second in the 49th minute and “Corazon” Onyango (85’) was on target for the third. Akida rounded-up with one minute to the end.

Burundi 10-1 Zanzibar

Earlier Burundi flogged Zanzibar10-1 in the same group.


UGANDA –  Ruth Aturo: Christine  Wanyana (captain), Yudaya Nakayenze, Gladys Nakitto, Nassuna Stellah, Jean Sseninde, Zaina Namuleme, Naume Nagadya, Hasifa Nassuna, Laki Otandeka, Winnie Babirye.

Replacements – Fatumah Matovu (gk); Joan Nakirya, Tracy Akiror, Shakira Nalwoga, Riticia Nabossa, Sandra Nantumbwe.

KENYA – Vivian Akinyi: Ann Aluoch Onyango, Wendy-Ann Achieng, Irene Ogutu Awuor, Dorcas Nixon Shikobe, Carolyne Omondi Anyango, Avilia Salano Cheris, Doreen Omondi Nabwire, Mary Wanjiku Kinuthia, Nedy Atieno Okoth, Esse Mbeyu Akida

Replacements – Samantha Akinyi, Lilian Awuor, Teresa Calleb Ouko, Jackline Akoth Jumah, Jacky Ogol, Mercy Achieng’ Onyango, Christine Nafula, Elizabeth Mwikali Ambogo, Vivian Odhiambo, Vivian Corazone Onyango