“We didn’t believe it after the match that we had beaten a team such as Benfica. They are the champions in their league and have so much experience compared to us. Tactically, technically and physically they are very good and beating them shows something about us. It was such a joy for everyone after the match,” Akida said.On her performance; “I feel really pleased scoring three goals. I have been in good form in the league and as I said, I wanted to translate it to the national team and here we are now. It was a great day for all of us.” She added.The team had a slow start to the match but settled in well especially after Akida’s opener. Team manager Doreen Nabwire told Capital Sport the team was tensed at the start but managed to settle in well, capitalizing on Benfica’s fatigue.“It is the first time these girls play in such a high profile tournament and definitely, you would expect some nerves. Winning was a huge boost now let us see how we tackle the second match,” Nabwire said.Kenya faces Espanyol on Tuesday evening and the team is upbeat from the confidence picked in the opening match, they will be more relaxed and will put their best. They will have a chance of watching their opponents on Monday night when they face the Portuguese champions in the second Group B game.“We have a lot of confidence now after winning the first match and obviously we are less tensed up. We are going to see if we can go on and win this tournament. But we take each match at a time. Benfica is now done and we focus on Espanyol which we definitely expect to be a tougher match,” the forward added.Kenya will only need a draw from the final group match to qualify for the semi finals but will be assured of toping the group if they win.Espanyol won the Spanish top tier league in the 2005/2006 season and have won the domestic cup six times, the last time being in 2012. They finished ninth in the just concluded Primera Liga season.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Esse Akida (jersey 14) watches part of the action as Harambee Stars played Portugal champions Benfica. PHOTO/COTIFVALENCIA, Spain, Aug 1- Harambee Starlets forward Esse Mbeyu Akida won plaudits after her performance in the team’s opening COTIF women tournament match against Portuguese champions Benfica in Valencia, Spain, the Spedag forward scoring all of Kenya’s goals in their 3-0 win.Akida was singled out alongside midfielder Christine Nafula for their performances and speaking to Capital Sport from Valencia, the attacker described the win and performance by the team as ‘unbelievable’.
1 Raheem Sterling Brendan Rodgers refused to use Raheem Sterling’s contract saga as an excuse for Liverpool’s horror show at Arsenal.The Merseysiders were blown away by the Gunners at the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime to leave their top four hopes in tatters.But Rodgers was adamant that the intense speculation over Sterling’s future ahead of the big game, not helped by an unsanctioned interview given by the starlet, played no part in his side’s 4-1 defeat.The 20-year-old won a second-half penalty for Liverpool, which Jordan Henderson converted, and Rodgers felt he was his side’s standout performer.Asked if the Sterling situation had played a role in the disappointing display, Rodgers told BT Sport, “No, not really. I thought Raheem was outstanding today, in fairness the kid’s done great today.“It’s not distractions, we were just poor defensively. You see from our record the last six games we haven’t conceded away from home. It’s just a disappointing day when you concede bad goals, you’re always going to be up against it against a team that’s obviously got good confidence.”Liverpool’s misery was compounded by a late red card for Emre Can, adding to their defensive woes, but Rodgers felt the German had been unlucky to get a second yellow card for what appeared to be a scissor challenge, with his manager saying he had slipped.“In all fairness, he’s not that type of player,” Rodgers said. “It’s a wonderful surface here, but it’s actually quite greasy, quite slippy with the way they water it. He’s tried to reach around the back with the right foot but then slips with his left and then it looks like a scissor challenge, but I know him well enough to know he’s not like that.”