Harambee Stars to play friendly against 2018 World Cup hosts Russia


FOOTBALL Harambee Stars to play friendly against 2018 World Cup hosts Russia

Festus Chuma 15:39 - 24.09.2023

Kenya national football team, Harambee Stars, prepares to face 2018 World Cup hosts Russia in a high-stakes friendly as World Cup qualifiers loom.

Harambee Stars are set to dazzle on the international stage once again as they will face off against the 2018 World Cup hosts, Russia, in a thrilling friendly match.

Scheduled to take place on the 16th of October in Turkey during the October international break, this encounter promises to be a riveting spectacle for fans and a crucial preparatory test for Harambee Stars as they gear up for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

This encounter marks the third in a series of high-profile friendlies for the Kenyan national team. Earlier this year, they squared off against Iran in March, succumbing to a narrow 2-1 defeat. However, they roared back to claim a victory against Qatar with a stunning 2-1 scoreline in September.

In their most recent outing on September 12, Harambee Stars faced South Sudan in a friendly match at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, where they narrowly lost 1-0. 

Despite the result, the team has remained focused on their goal – meticulous preparation for upcoming CAF and FIFA engagements.

Looking ahead to the future, Harambee Stars have their sights firmly set on the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The team has been drawn into Group F, which includes formidable opponents such as Seychelles, Burundi, Gambia, Gabon, and Côte d’Ivoire.

The journey towards securing a coveted spot in the prestigious tournament kicks off with the first round of matches scheduled between November 13 and 21, 2023. 

The stakes are high, as the group winners will earn a direct ticket to the 2026 World Cup, promising an exhilarating showdown for Harambee Stars.

The four most outstanding runners-up from the groups will advance to the CAF Play-Off tournament, an additional opportunity for Harambee Stars to cement their path to football glory.

The ultimate prize at stake for the victor of the CAF Play-Off tournament is a coveted place in the FIFA Playoff tournament, an opportunity that only a select few will achieve. 

The upcoming friendly against Russia serves as a litmus test, allowing the team to gauge their readiness and refine their strategies against their opening match against Gabon in November.