Nairobi — The national women's under-20 football team will depart the country on Friday morning for Accra, Ghana where they will play the junior Black Queens in the second round of the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup to be hosted in France.
Head coach Carolyne Ajowi has named the final squad of 20 players, anchored by inspirational captain Corazone Aquino, though the side will be without seven players who are ruled off the tie as they will be sitting for their KCSE exams.
The seven, Sheryl Angachi, Cynthia Shilwatso, Maureen Khakasa, Cynthia Akinyi, Sharon Adhiambo, Mercy Airo and Vivian Nasaka all who were part of the team in the first two rounds have been ruled out.
Starlets will have a mountain to climb against Ghana who featured in the last World Cup in 2016 though they never managed to go past the group stages. The junior Black Queens beat Algeria 10-0 on average in the first round of qualification, winning 5-0 at home and a similar scoreline away.
Speaking previously, Technical Lead Musa Otieno said the team will look for at least a draw away and hope to finish the job at home when the return tie is played in a fortnight.
Kenya progressed to the second round after beating Ethiopia 4-3 on aggregate. In the preliminary round, Ajowi's girls progressed after Botswana pulled off from the return fixture in Nairobi after losing 7-1 in Gaborone.
If the junior Starlets maneuver past the Ghanaians, they will be one step away from the world cup where they will face the winner between Sierra Leone and Cameroon. A win in this tie will hand them a ticket to the World Cup.
Corazone Aquino, Judith Osimbo, Wincate Kaari, Brenda Achieng, Diana Wacera, Fiscah Nashivanda, Lilian Awuor, Lucy Akoth, Rachel Muema, Quinter Atieno, Lilian Mmboga, Veronica Awino, Gentrix Shikangwa, Linda Nasimiyu, Leah Cherotich, Martha Amunyolete, Stella Anyango
Musa Otieno (Technical lead), Caroline Ajowi (Coach), Ann Aluoch (Asst Coach), Jackline Akoth (Asst Coach), Hassan Shah (GK Trainer), Mikael Igendia (Strength and Conditioning Coach), David Ndakalu (Team Doctor).