NAIROBI, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's women football team, the Harambee Starlets, are confident they will hold still against waves of attack from Equatorial Guinea in their return leg match in the West Africa's port city of Bata on Saturday to secure a ticket to the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations finals.
Kenya will face the West Africans in Bata, just three days after their slim 2-1 win in Machakos on Wednesday, and whoever secures the aggregate victory over the two-leg clashes will qualify for the continental showpiece to be staged in Ghana in November.
Head coach David Ouma has expressed optimism that the Starlets will give a good account of themselves in Bata.
"I'm happy with our preparations. The girls are ready and psyched up and I am confident that we can get a positive result. We are confident of a draw or win away so as to pick a ticket to the Africa Cup of Nations," Ouma said on Thursday.
The coach said they are no longer underdogs having guided the team to their first ever continental appearance in Cameroon two years ago.
Though Kenya lost in all of its preliminary matches, it showed that its development trajectory was solid and they are ready to pick up the pieces and return for the continental contest.
Equatorial Guinea are the tougher opponent on paper, having won the Africa Women's Nations Cup twice in 2008 and 2012. They also finished second in 2010 and qualified for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
The top two teams in Ghana's Nations Cup finals will qualify to represent Africa at the FIFA women's World Cup in France in 2019.
"They are a very experienced team because if you look at all their achievements, that does not come easy. We knew we are going to face a very tough side and I prepared my team mentally. Everyone in my team was ready and I'm happy with the win.
"I think my girls have really grown. They will not be under pressure in Bata," added Ouma.
The Harambee Starlets qualified for the final qualification round after seeing off Uganda 1-0 on aggregate. Kenya won the first leg in Machakos by a solitary goal and ground out a barren draw in Kampala.
Kenya's captain Wendy Achieng is optimistic they will weather the storm in Bata to deny Equatorial Guinea their fifth appearance at the Africa Women's Cup of Nations.
"We have the respect after qualifying in 2016 and now we have beaten them 2-1 at home. We have trained really well and everyone is confident. We promise the fans we won't let them down," said Achieng.