Flawless performance for Kenyan referee at FIFA Women's World Cup

FOOTBALL Flawless performance for Kenyan referee at FIFA Women's World Cup

Joel Omotto 13:06 - 27.07.2023

The match official was at her brilliant best as an all-African crew took charge of Portugal's win over Vietnam.

Kenyan referee Mary Njoroge officiated her first match at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup when Portugal beat Vietnam 2-0 at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand on Thursday.

Njoroge was among the all-African crew led by Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga, who was the center referee, with the Kenyan serving as one of her assistants, alongside Queency Victoire from Mauritius.

Njoroge was not tested much during the encounter which Portugal took command of from the start with Telma Encarnacao scoring the opening goal after just seven minutes before she set up Kika Nazareth for the second 14 minutes later.

The Kenyan's major call came in the first half when she flagged offside a Vietnam attacker just before Portugal scored their second goal.

The three African referees worked seamlessly but it was no surprise given their massive experience.

Njoroge and Mukansanga are making a second appearance at the World Cup, after officiating at the 2019 tournament in France, while it is the first for Victoire.

Besides the World Cup, Njoroge has also worked on the Olympics, Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, CAF Confederation Cup, and the U17 Africa Cup of Nations matches and will be looking forward to more assignments in Australia and New Zealand.

Victory revived Portugal's hopes of reaching the Round of 16 but they will need to pull off a shock win against defending champions United States to sail through.

USA and 2019 beaten finalists Netherlands are both tied on four points in Group E after two matches while Portugal have three from as many games.