Junior Starlets thrash hapless Ethiopia in FIFA U17 World Cup qualifier


Junior Starlets thrash hapless Ethiopia in FIFA U17 World Cup qualifier

Festus Chuma 17:00 - 19.05.2024

Kenya's Under-17 women's team edged closer to the World Cup after a decisive match against Ethiopia at Ulinzi Sports Complex.

Kenya's women's Under-17 national team moved closer to the 2024 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup following a 3-0 win over Ethiopia in the second-leg match played at Ulinzi Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon.

The Junior Starlets came into this second-leg encounter against Ethiopia well aware that nothing but a victory would earn them a spot in the third round of the competition.

Both sides looked lively in the early stages of the encounter, but they were both restricted to efforts from distance, none of which were threatening.

Ethiopia goalkeeper Abebayehu Tassew saw a lot of the ball and she produced a good save after 24 minutes following an error from the defense. 

Fikreaddis Gezahegn nearly put Ethiopia ahead after 37 minutes, as she worked some space before curling one just wide of the upright.

Ethiopia were forced to defend deep for most of the first half as they struggled to contain the onslaught of the Junior Starlets.

Kenya finally broke the deadlock in the 44th minute when captain  Elizabeth Ochaka rose high to nod in Christine Adhiambo's cross to make it 1-0. 

The Junior Starlets walked out onto the Ulinzi Stadium pitch looking to up the ante after the break, and they made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute when Velma Awuor sent a shot from outside the box past stranded Abebayehu Tassew between Ethiopia goalposts.

But the damage was not done just yet as Kenya then completed the rout thanks to a goal by Lornah Faith, who killed off the tie in its entirety and sent Junior Starlet to the final round of qualifying where they will meet Burundi.

How they lined up:

Kenya: 1. Velma Abwire, 16. Christine Adhiambo, 3. Kimberly Akinyi, 19. Lorine Ilavonga, 12. Elizabeth Ochaka, 9. Velma Awuor,   10. Marion Serenge, 17. Halima Imbachi, 13. Valerie Nekesa, 19. Lorine Ilavonga, 24. Joan Ogola

Ethiopia: Abebayehu Tassew, Lemlem Astatke, Mitike Birhanu, Asore Hayso, Fikreaddis Gezahegn, Hirut Tesfaye (C), Manayesh Tesfaye, Melat Getachew, Bizuayehu Tsegaye, Hidat Kassu, Saba Hailemikael, and Mahlet Mitiku.