By Beng Emmanuel
• The Handball Lionesses began their pursuit for a maiden continental trophy with a convincing win against the Good luck girls.
Cameroon began their quest for a maiden continental silverware with an emphatic 40-16 victory against Kenya in their opening game of the 2021 Africa Women’s Handball Championship.
The host began the surge for goals through Djiepmoum Vanessa. The talented playmaker capped an impressive early display with several no-look passes before being substituted.
Cameroon outplayed Kenya in the first half and completely ripped them apart. Their terrific form helped them reach double figures first as Kenya could hardly cope with their stellar quality and pace.
But the visitors had some few moments of their own. The recovered from a slow start and showcased some quality and confidence with star player Chilo Gladys Ayitso being impeccably accurate. She managed to squeeze past a stiff Cameroonian defence to score a majority of her team’s goals with style.
The Handball Lionesses weren’t particularly impressed by the Kenyan super star. Roared by their fans, they kept the pressure high and were rewarded with deserved 21-8 lead at the break.
Kenya came out with greater fervour and seemed to have reversed the situation before their new found belief shattered.
They frequently failed to crack pass a brave block from their rivals with goalie Abiakakon Berthe who had come in for Balana Onana Marie-producing fantastic saves.
Cameroon pounced on several individual errors and openings from Kenya to widen the gap that soon became unattainable.
Goalie Abiakakon Berthe was one of the catalysts behind the team’s high yielding second half display. She demonstrated her competence with superb long range passes which court players made good use of.
Kenya’s chances to reduce damage only got worse when Oyoo Michelle Adhiambo was sent off after recording recurrent fouls. Despite their defeat, Chilo Gladys Ayitso was awarded the prize for the game’s most valuable player.
In the tournament curtain raiser played earlier at the Multi-Purpose Sport Complex, the Democratic Republic of Congo beat Nigeria 35-16.
Cameroon face Nigeria in their second game this Thursday while DR Congo will hope for consecutive wins when they take on Kenya.
There are three games on Wednesday. Senegal vs Madagascar (2pm), Angola vs Cape Vert (4pm) and Tunisia vs Guinea (6pm)
The 24th edition of the Africa Women’s Handball Championship serves as qualifiers for the Women’s World Handball Championship in Spain. Four teams will represent the African continent.