Kenya’s Harambee Starlets advanced to the second and final round of the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, defeating Cameroon 4-3 on penalties in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, on Tuesday.
South Korea-based forward Cynthia Shilwatso entered the game as a substitute and scored in the 75th minute, granting the home team a 1-0 victory in the return leg. The match, witnessed by thousands at the Nyayo National Stadium, saw Kenya trailing the Indomitable Lionesses 1-0 from the first leg in Yaounde the previous Friday.
The penalty shootout began unfavorably for the Starlets when captain Ruth Ingosi’s attempt was thwarted. However, Shilwatso, Violet Nanjala, and Mwanalima Adam successfully converted their penalties, electrifying the home crowd.
For Cameroon, Charlene Meyong, Ashta Toko Njoya, and Ajara Nchout Njoya found the net, but Claudine Meffometou and Naomie Eto missed their chances.
Kenya aims to qualify for their second WAFCON, having participated in the 2018 finals in Cameroon. The Starlets will next face Botswana in another two-legged qualifier for a spot in the 2024 AWCON set to be held in Morocco.
The Confederation of African Football has yet to announce the dates for the premier continental women’s football tournament.