Kenya's chances of making a debut in the Fifa Under-20 Women's World Cup were dealt a significant blow on Sunday evening after they lost 5-0 to Ghana at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
Helena Obeng opened the scoring for the hosts, before Priscilla Adubea scored four goals to put the match beyond the visitors' reach.
This was the second last qualification stage, and the Kenyan youngsters are expected back in the country on Monday to prepare for the November 17 return match, where they must win by six clear goals, to overturn the massive deficit.
Having elbowed out Botswana and Ethiopia in the first and second round of qualification, the Harambee Starlets juniors had looked impressive before this tie, but were acutely aware that Ghana were tough opponents, who were better experienced in such high profile competitions.
While Kenya is exploring their chances of making a maiden appearance at the junior World Cup, Ghana's Black Princesses are chasing a fifth appearance at the competition, having qualified in the last two editions.
The team also had to deal with the absence of seven key players, who were unable to join the team for training, as they were preparing for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary School Education (KCSE) which began on Monday across the country.
Judging by the huge goal deficit, Ghana's return match against Kenya could as well be considered a mere formality but their coach Yusuf Basigi has refused to look at it that way, saying that he will not entertain any complacency from his players.
"It's not over until it's all over. Yes we won comfortably 5-0 and that should make us happy but this is football. We need to play better than we did here in Ghana to make sure we get to the next stage.
"We can't relax because we've scored 5-0. They (Kenya) can also score 5-0 or more to kick us out. So we need to intensify our preparations and ensure we get a good score line in Kenya," he said in his post-match address.
Whoever comes out on top after the return match, will be legible to face either Morocco or Cameroon in the last stage of the qualifiers for a place in next year's World Cup.
Two teams will represent Africa in the Fifa U-20 Women's World Cup scheduled for August 7 to 26 in France.
Harambee Starlets Starting XI: Lilian Awuor (GK), Foscah Nashivanda, Leah Cherotich, Lucy Akoth, Wincate Kaari, Corazon Aquino, Quinter Atieno, Diana Wacera, Martha Amunyolete, Stella Anyango and Gentrix Shikangwa.
Substitutes: Judith Osimbo, Brenda Achieng, Linda Nyongesa, Lilian Mmboga, Rachel Muema and Veronica Awino.