What you need to know:
- Kenya, coached by Beldine Odemba are seeking to make a return to the continental championship since their last appearance in 2016
- Odemba said that the team is in high spirits to turn things around away from home
- Botswana coach Alex Malete said they are the underdogs despite playing at home
Harambee Starlets take the battle to The Mares of Botswana when the two sides clash in the return leg of the 2024 Women Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) qualifier at Gaborone National Stadium in Gaborone on Tuesday.
The aggregate winner of the match, set to kick off at 4pm Kenyan time, will qualify for the upcoming Wafcon that will be held in Morocco next year.
The two teams battled to a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi last Wednesday.
Botswana striker Keitumtse Dithebe struck first in the 38th minute before midfielder Marjolene Nekesa equalised in the 48th minute. Starlets need a win of any kind or a high-scoring draw in Gaborone in order to qualify for Wafcon.
Kenya, coached by Beldine Odemba are seeking to make a return to the continental championship since their last appearance in 2016.
Starlets landed in Botswana on Sunday and had an evening training session at Lekidi Football Centre Grounds in Gaborone. They also had a feel of the Gaborone National Stadium on Monday evening.
Heading into the match, the two teams have met twice in history, with their last encounter being in 2015 during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualifying tournament.
Kenya lost the first leg 2-1 in Botswana but won the return leg 1-0 to proceed to the next round on away goals following a 2-2 aggregate score.
Odemba said that the team is in high spirits to turn things around away from home.
"I have no injury concerns in my team as everyone will be available for selection. We will push the girls to play well. Let's wait for our game on Wednesday," said Odemba.
Botswana coach Alex Malete said they are the underdogs despite playing at home.
"We have done enough preparation and have full knowledge about our opponents by understanding the profile of each player. They have the most experienced side, 11 players who started in the first leg play professional football across the world. As for us, only four players play outside the country and that is a low number," said Botswana coach Malete.
The hosts will be looking for a consecutive appearance at the Wafcon after featuring in last year's edition held in Morocco.
Angachi to start
Malete will bank on experienced goalkeeper and captain Sedilame Bosija who denied Kenya victory at the death in Nairobi after saving Violet Nanjala's penalty.
Upfront, Botswana's attack will be anchored on the duo of Lesego Duduetsang Radiakanyo and Refilwe Tebogo who were a constant menace in the first leg.
Odemba will pray that her charges carry their scoring boots to Gaborone after a dismal display in front of goal in the first leg.
Sheryl Angachi is likely to be promoted to the first team after an impressive display as a substitute in Nairobi.
Nekesa and Mwanahalima Adam will be charged with providing the creative spark that was badly missing in the first leg. Elizabeth Wambui and Cynthia Shilwatso could once again lead the attack from the flanks as Lorna Nyarinda drops to the bench.
To qualify for the second round, Starlets eliminated Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in a thrilling match that ended 4-3 on penalties on September 26 at Nyayo National Stadium.
The Nairobi leg ended 1-0 in normal time, resulting in a 1-1 aggregate score and the match had to be decided on penalties.
Botswana, on the other hand beat Gabon 7-1 on aggregate in the first round, after winning first leg at home 3-0 and the return leg 4-1.