Malawi edges Kenya in CAF Women’s Olympic qualifier first leg

Kenya’s national women’s football team players celebrate a goal during a past match. COURTESY: TWITTER/Harambee Starlets

Kenya suffered a 3-2 defeat away to Malawi in Blantyre in the first leg of their 2020 CAF Women’s Olympic second round qualifier on Wednesday.

Malawi took an early lead in the 13th minute through Madina Nguluwe’s free-kick but the Kenyans leveled through Cynthia Shilwato’s strike 10 minutes before halftime.

Malawi restored their lead two minutes later through Tabitha Chawinga and then sealed her brace three minutes later to give the She Flames a 3-1 lead going into halftime.

Harambee Starlets pulled one back through Mwanahalima Adam in the 80th minute handing the visitors a crucial second away goal.

Kenya will host Malawi in the return leg on Sunday, September 1, in Machakos knowing that only a win will ensure progression to the next round where it will face either Gabon or Ghana.

In another game, Zambia scored five unanswered goals in the second half to thrash Zimbabwe 5-0 at the Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka, Zambia. Grace Chanda scored twice with Rachel Nachula, Rachel Kunandanji and Misozi Zulu scoring once.

In other games on Wednesday, Gabon faces Ghana, Algeria plays Nigeria while the Democratic Republic of Congo will face off against Equatorial Guinea.

The winner of the qualifying tournament will get a direct ticket to the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020 while the runner-up will play in a playoff against Chile, who is South America’s participant having finished second in the CONMEBOL qualifying tournament.

The dates of the intercontinental play-off matches are still to be confirmed, according to football’s world governing body, FIFA.

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