Harambee Starlets inched closer to sailing to the second round of the African Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers following their 8-0 drubbing of South Sudan’s Bright Starlets at the Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi.
A four-goal haul from the returning Neddy Atieno and a brace each from Mwanahalima ‘Dogo’ Adam and Jentrix Shikangwa tormented the Bright Starlets to their heaviest defeat—leaving the newest nation with a Herculean task ahead of the return leg in the same venue this weekend.
Starlets under coach Charles Okere, who was on the touchline for his first match following his appointment in April, took a 4-0 lead into the breather in a largely one-sided match.
Atieno, who last featured for Starlets in 2017, marked her comeback with an opening goal in the first minute before Dogo added a second two minutes later.
Ulinzi foward Atieno could not be denied her brace, popping up with a sumptuous third for the high-flying Starlets in the 33rd minute as 20-year-old Shikangwa made it four, six minutes before halftime.
Bright Starlets made their first substitution at the start of the second half with Luka Aikori replacing Susan Michel in attack but Starlets extended their advantage—with Atieno completing her hat-trick in the 56th minute with a poacher’s finish.
Five minutes later, she grabbed her fourth—beating goalkeeper Tutu Halda at the near post.
Dogo, who captained Starlets in the absence of Dorcus Shikobe, made it 7-0 in the 64th minute before Shikingwa completed the rout in the 71st minute.
Starlets made three substitutions with Corazon Aquino paving way for Vihiga Queens’ Tereza Engesha. Merceline Wayodi replaced Phoebe Oketch as midfield dynamo Sheril Angach was rested for Merciline Anyango.