Ivory Coast make early arrival in Malawi for Harambee Stars clash

Ivory Coast make early arrival in Malawi for Harambee Stars clash

Joel Omotto 10:30 - 09.06.2024

African champions Ivory Coast are already in Malawi for the 2026 World Cup qualifier against Kenya on Tuesday, seeking to extend their group lead.

Harambee Stars’ next rivals Ivory Coast are already in Malawi ahead of their clash against Kenya in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday.

The Ivorians touched down in Lilongwe on Saturday ahead of the match in which they will be looking to add to Kenya’s woes to stay top of their qualifying group.

Ivory Coast beat Gabon 1-0 on Friday to maintain their perfect start and stay top of Group F with nine points from three games and will all but end Kenya’s hopes if they secure victory on Tuesday.

The match will be played at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe in what will be the second straight clash at the venue that Kenya is calling home for the June qualifiers after hosting Burundi to a 1-1 draw on Friday.

Brighton winger Simon Adingra, star midfielder Franck Kessie, Nottingham Forest defender Willy Boly, ex-Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe and Borussia Dortmund striker Sebastien Haller are among the Ivorian players who will give Harambee Stars a major test.

The Elephants left Abidjan in the early hours of Saturday and landed in Lilongwe after a six-hour flight as they begin early preparations for the match.

Kenya and Ivory Coast have only faced off once before, the match ending 1-0 in favour of the Elephants, in December 1991 in what was a friendly tie.

The Ivorians are undefeated since winning the 2023 Africa cup of Nations in February a they drew 2-1 with Benin, beat Uruguay 2-1 both in March, before the victory against Gabon last week.

Engi Firat’s men must therefore be at their absolute best on Tuesday to get anything from the game against Emerse Fae’s men.