History will be made at 9pm Sunday evening in Limbe, Cameroon when the Kenya make their bow at the Africa Women Cup of Nations tournament.
Harambee Starlets will start their African campaign with a potentially bruising clash against Ghana’s Black Queens in a Group B fixture at the 20,000-seater Stade de Limbe located in the coastal city of Limbe.
The match will be the second of a Group B double-header to be played at the venue.
The first will be the mouth-watering clash between Mali and defending champions Nigeria.
The odds are stacked heavily against first timers Kenya as they will be coming up against a team that has appeared in the continental showpiece 11 times and reached the finals three times before.
In addition, the Yusuf Basigi-coached women rank 86 places above Kenya in the Fifa world rankings, standing second among African countries and 46th in the world.
And while Kenya will present a modest team comprising only local-based players, Ghana has a rich, star-studded squad made up of six foreign-based players namely: Janet Egyir, Linda Eshun, Portia Boakye and Samira Suleman who ply their trade in Iceland together with midfielders Juliet Acheampong and Elizabeth Addo who are based in Sweden.
But despite their vast experience, Black Queens are yet to win the women’s regional tournament which is on its 12th edition.
Basigi has said that he will not take Kenya lightly in today’s game. “I don’t know much about Kenya because I have never watched them play. I have, however, followed their previous results against Algeria, Cameroon and in the Cecafa tournament. You can’t underestimate them,’’ he said.
Ouma said he felt it was possible to get a favourable result against the West Africans.
“My players have been pushing themselves hard and everyone wants to be in the first 11. I respect Ghana because they have been consistently qualifying for this tournament, and are among the best teams in the competition, but we will give our best on the pitch for a good result,” Ouma said.
Nigeria v Mali (Limbe, 6pm)
Ghana v Kenya (Limbe, 9pm)