Harambee Starlets lose to Botswana to miss out on WAFCON 2024

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Julius Jumah
Julius Jumah
A multimedia journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya.


The Kenya national women’s team, Harambee Starlets, will have to wait until at least 2026 to appear at the Women’s African Cup of Nations (WAFCON).

Starlets missed out on the 2024 WAFCON, which will be held in Morocco, after losing 1-0 to hosts Botswana in the second leg of their final qualifier at the Gaborone National Stadium.

Beldine Odemba’s girls had played to a 1-1 draw at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, and followed the Mares of Botswana to complete the job but that did not happen, unfortunately.

Harambee Starlets lose to Botswana to miss out on WAFCON 2024
Kenya’s Harambee Starlets sought to sink Botswana in Gaborone to book a slot at the 2024 WAFCON finals in Morocco but lost to the hosts instead. [Photo/Harambee Starlets/X].

Starlets will however shoulder the blame for the painful loss as they spurned a glut of opportunities to take the lead and win the game, especially in the first half.

Another noteworthy moment happened in the second half when the Kenyans won a penalty with the game tied at 0-0.

Cynthia Shilwatso stepped forward in an attempt to give Starlets a priceless away goal but her shot was parried by host goalkeeper Sedilame Bosija.

Harambee Starlets lose to Botswana to miss out on WAFCON 2024
Harambee Starlets will have themselves to blame after they missed several scoring opportunities in the first half as well as a penalty in the second half. [Photo/Harambee Starlets/X].

Dithebe Keitumetse who scored Botswana’s goal in Nairobi last week was once again on target in the 63rd minute to give the hosts the lead after surviving the penalty.

Keitumetse pounced on the ball following a blunder by Ruth Ingotsi who failed to send the ball forward after receiving it from her goalkeeper Lilian Awuor.

ALSO READ: Harambee Stars qualify for 2027 AFCON finals

Kenya’s dream to appear at the WAFCON finals for the second time in history after making a debut in 2016 comes to an end while Botswana makes a second successive appearance at the continental showpiece.

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