Harambee Stars: Where does Seychelles rout leave Kenya in Group F?

© FKF Media.

FOOTBALL Harambee Stars: Where does Seychelles rout leave Kenya in Group F?

Joel Omotto 12:00 - 21.11.2023

Pulse Sports highlights how Kenya compares with the rest of their Group F opponents after getting their first win of their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Monday

Harambee Stars registered a comprehensive 5-0 win over Seychelles in their second World Cup qualifier at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on Monday.

It was a much-needed win which brought points on board for Engin Firat’s men after their disappointing 2-1 defeat to Gabon on matchday one.

Victory left Kenya third in Group F with three points but most importantly, with a +4 goal difference over closest challengers Burundi, who also have three points after beating The Gambia 3-2 before losing 2-1 to Gabon on Sunday.

Ivory Coast, who thrashed Seychelles 9-0 on Friday before edging out the Gambians 2-0 on Monday, lead Group F with the maximum six points with a +11 goal difference while Gabon also have six points following their identical 2-1 wins against Kenya and Burundi.

The Gambia and Seychelles have no points after their opening two matches, leaving them playing catch up with the rest of the sides.

However, Kenya have a tough road ahead with tougher tests set to come. Harambee Stars’ next assignment will be against Burundi in June 2024, a tricky encounter that can go either way before they face Group F favourites Ivory Coast.

Both matches will be played in Nairobi and Kenya will need all the support they can since a negative outcome will jeopardize their chances of qualifying for a maiden World Cup even if Firat has claimed he is building a team for the future.

It will not get any better for Kenya after that, however, as a visit to The Gambia will follow before they host Gabon in Nairobi, both matches to be played in March 2025.

The Gambia might have started poorly but they showed at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations that they are not pushovers when they reached the quarter-finals at their maiden tournament and will fancy Kenya as a team they can pick maximum points from.

Gabon will also want to maintain their 100 percent record against Firat’s men, making the task more daunting.

Kenya will then have two back-to-back home games in September 2025 against The Gambia and Seychelles before they complete their qualifying campaign with away clashes to Burundi and Ivory Coast respectively.

As shown in their first two matches, Harambee Stars will need a significant improvement to get to the ‘Promised land’ since their display’s have so far left a lot to be desired.

Wastefulness in front of goal and lack of concentration saw them surrender the game to Gabon and they also missed a lot of chances against Seychelles despite their huge win.

That will need to change especially against sides that will test to them to the limit and also give them few opportunities in the coming matches.

Follow Pulse Sports WhatsApp channel for more news.