Nick Mwendwa's emotional moment captured after Starlets' penalty miss in WAFCON qualifier


FOOTBALL Nick Mwendwa's emotional moment captured after Starlets' penalty miss in WAFCON qualifier

Festus Chuma 21:00 - 30.11.2023

FKF president heartbreakingly captured photo after Starlets' penalty miss in WAFCON qualifier draws nationwide sympathy and support.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa found himself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons as a photo of him kneeling in disappointment circulated on social media after the Kenyan women's national team, Harambee Starlets, missed a crucial penalty in their first leg clash against Botswana.

The high-stakes match, a do-or-die encounter for Starlets to qualify for the 2024 Women Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON), ended in a painful 1-1 draw at Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Beldin Odemba's coached Starlets had been eager to secure a positive result in the first leg of this crucial two-legged tie, but Botswana proved to be formidable opponents.

The visitors managed to score an essential away goal, thanks to Keitumetse Duthebe's strike, which was later canceled out by Marjolen Nekesa.

In the dying moments of the game, Starlets had a golden opportunity to snatch victory when they were awarded a penalty. However, their hopes were dashed when Violet Nanjala missed the spot-kick, leaving the Kenyan fans in despair.

The heart-wrenching penalty miss sent shockwaves through the stadium, and a photograph of Nick Mwendwa, visibly disheartened, quickly gained prominence on various social media platforms.

Mwendwa was not alone in his disappointment, as Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, who was seated alongside him in the VVIP dias, also appeared to be in disbelief after the penalty was squandered.

Before the match, Nick Mwendwa took a moment to express his gratitude to the government for its unwavering support of the local football scene and, in particular, the national teams.

He highlighted the growth of women's football in Kenya, expressing optimism about their chances of qualifying for the WAFCON next year.

"The women's game is growing every day; I am so impressed by what we have done so far," Mwendwa stated. "We are making strides every day, and I am optimistic that we will beat Botswana and qualify for the WAFCON next year."

He also emphasized the significance of support beyond financial assistance, citing the government's active involvement and commitment to the development of football in the country.

The stage is now set for the crucial second leg, which will be held in Botswana on Tuesday, 5th December.

Kenya will need either a high-scoring draw or a straight win to secure their place in the 2024 Women Africa Cup of Nations.

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