Kenya's Harambee Starlets rise in Fifa rankings

Sunday December 15 2019

Kenya's Harambee Starlets players celebrate after winning the second leg of their Olympic Qualifiers third round tie against Ghana's Black Queens at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on October 8, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenya's Harambee Starlets players celebrate after winning the second leg of their Olympic Qualifiers third round tie against Ghana's Black Queens at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on October 8, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEOFFREY ANENE
By GEOFFREY ANENE
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Kenya has climbed 10 places to 133rd in the latest Fifa women’s rankings released on Friday.

Harambee Starlets, whose highest ranking in women’s football was position 108 back in 2017, had dropped to their lowest ever ranking of 143rd spot in the previous release on September 27.

Since September, Kenya have played nine matches: won six, drawn two and lost one.

David Ouma’s side held highly-rated Ghana 0-0 away and defeated them 1-0 in October in Nairobi in the third round of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifiers and drew 2-2 against Zambia in Nairobi before losing 1-0 in Lusaka in the fourth round.

Starlets then proceeded to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for the Cecafa Women Championship where they ruthlessly saw off Ethiopia 2-0, Djibouti 12-0 and Uganda 3-0 in Group "B" matches, hit Burundi 5-0 in semi-final before winning the regional event for the first time ever by dethroning the hosts with a 2-0 win in the final.

Jentrix Shikangwa scored 10 of Kenya’s 24 goals to emerge the tournament’s top scorer.

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On September 27, Ghana occupied position 50th spot in the world, Zambia was 110th, Ethiopia (111), Tanzania (137), Kenya (143) and Uganda (149). Burundi, Djibouti and South Sudan were unranked.

In the latest release, Ghana has dropped 10 places to 60th globally, while Zambia is up four places to 106. Ethiopia and Tanzania have ascended two places to 109 and 135 respectively.

Rwanda and Uganda have also improved. From 145, Rwanda is now in position 140, while Uganda is 142nd. Burundi, Djibouti and South Sudan are still not in the 155-nation list, which has not changed in the first five spots held by USA, Germany, Netherlands, France and Sweden in that order.

Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo were the biggest gainers in the latest rankings. The Congolese also moved up 10 places to 108. Trinidad and Tobago was the biggest loser after falling 11 places to 72nd in the world.

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