Nairobi — Harambee Starlets head coach Beldine Odemba led her players in paying glowing tributes to Kenyans who thronged the Nyayo National Stadium on Tuesday afternoon to give them support as they downed Cameroon to make the second round of the qualifiers towards next year's Women's Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON).
Despite the game being on a working weekday, Kenyans turned up in their numbers, with an estimate of almost 12,000 watching the Starlets pick up the massive victory.
The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) had waived gate charges for the match and this did the girls a massive favour as they earned proper home support.
And the team says the shouts of joy and cheers to encourage them played a massive role in the result, where they beat Cameroon 4-3 on penalties to make the next round.
"We are really delighted that the fans came in their numbers today and we are also grateful to the media for helping us to rally the fans. It is on a Tuesday and we didn't believe we could get this number of fans. They played a really big role for us and we are thankful," coach Odemba said.
She added; "When we went to Cameroon the crowd was really against us and it brought some fear to the girls. Today, the noise was for us and it was positive noise and we are very grateful."
Goalkeeper Annedy Kundu, who put in a massive shift with a one on one save at 1-0 up and also one of the penalties was also grateful to the fans.
"The fans honestly gave us a lot of energy. Their nouse made us believe that we can win and it motivated us because we knew we were at home and we can't put them to shame. It gave us a lot of energy when we heard their voices on the stands," Kundu said.
The sentiments were shared by skipper Ruth Ingotsi, who perhaps put it in the best way possible.
"This was massive for us. The moment we saw how much the fans had turned up, we knew we couldn't let them down. The noise, the motivation they gave us really pushed us and we did our best for them. We dedicate this win to our fans," noted Ingotsi.