Five things Harambee Starlets must do to seal WAFCON ticket

© Harambee Starlets

FOOTBALL Five things Harambee Starlets must do to seal WAFCON ticket

Festus Chuma 07:00 - 05.12.2023

Harambee Starlets seek WAFCON victory in rematch against Botswana with a focus on key strategies for success

Harambee Starlets are fired up for the rematch of the final round of 2024 Women African Cup of Nations (WAFCON) qualifier against hosts Botswana. 

After a nail-biting 1-1 draw in Nairobi last Wednesday, Kenya is on the brink of securing a place in the continental showpiece. 

To ensure victory and seal their WAFCON ticket, the Harambee Starlets must focus on five crucial strategies.

1. Tighten it up in the back

One glaring weakness in the Harambee Starlets' recent performances has been their defensive lapses. 

Against Cameroon, they allowed their opponents too much room to maneuver in the box, and Botswana capitalized on similar opportunities in their encounter. 

To secure their WAFCON ticket, Kenya must prioritize tightening their defense, ensuring better marking and reducing opponents' chances to shoot freely.

2. Don't expose the back line

While the spotlight has been on the Starlets' defense, midfielders and forwards play a pivotal role in maintaining a solid defensive structure. 

Careless possession in midfield has often led to turnovers and put pressure on the defense. 

Against a counter-attacking Botswana side, Kenya must improve ball retention, making sure they do not expose their vulnerable back line to unnecessary risks.

3. Midfielders must increase forward runs

One of the challenges faced by the Harambee Starlets is breaking through compact defenses. This could be attributed to midfielders not pushing forward often enough.

 Players like Elizabeth Wambui and Mwanahalima Adam must take the initiative to make runs beyond the attackers, creating additional scoring opportunities and enhancing the team's attacking prowess.

4. Make quicker and better decisions on the ball

In the previous game against Botswana, the Harambee Starlets struggled with ball control and decision-making.

 Cynthia Shilwatso, in particular, missed several scoring chances due to indecision. 

To seal their WAFCON ticket, Kenya's players must improve their ball control and decisiveness, ensuring that they make the right moves promptly when opportunities arise.

5. Play more as a team

One moment that highlighted the importance of teamwork was when Majoline Nekesa missed a chance to pass to an open Shilwatso. 

Instead, she opted to shoot. This lack of cohesion in the attack hindered the Harambee Starlets' ability to conquer the Botswana defense.

 It is mperative that the team plays together, with forwards and midfielders working in harmony to unlock their opponents' defense. 

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