- Stars play Seychelles in Ivory Coast Monday night
- They lost their first qualifier to Gabon
- Gabon are top of the group after beating Burundi
Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat says he wants to see an improved team, when the Kenyans take on Seychelles in their second World Cup qualifier in Ivory Coast. Kenya was beaten 2-1 by Gabon in their first match last week, and aim to bounce back.
Firat believes his side has the capability to do well against Seychelles, reflecting on the positives they picked in the match against Gabon.
Stars had led 1-0, before two individual mistakes saw them concede twice, including a late winner in Franceville.
And now, the tactician says he has addressed the areas he felt were below par, and they should be able to give a much improved performance when they face off with the islanders.
“We had some moments where I think we played really well, but again we had some mistakes that led to the two goals. We have tried to work and address the areas especially how we behave when we lose the ball,” said the coach.
He added; “We want to be better against Seychelles. Yes, they lost heavily against Ivory Coast and that does not mean they will be easy, but we aim to win that match.”
Seychelles thrashed by Ivory Coast in first match
Syechelles were beaten 9-0 by Ivory Coast in their opening match and will want to improve and bounce back to restore respect.
Kenya on the other hand are keen to avoid back to back defeats, especially against an opponent ranked lower than them.
The team has been boosted with left back Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma resuming training with the rest of the squad, having missed out the match against Gabon due to a nagging injury. His availability will be a boost for the coach especially as he looks towards a more attacking performance.
Skipper Michael Olunga has rallied his teammates to put in their best in the duel, saying back to back losses will be detrimental in their hunt for a dream place at the World Cup.
“We have had to look deep in ourselves to ensure that we put in a better performance. We cannot underrate any team and therefore, we need to be very keen and pay close attention to every detail of the game,” noted the Qatar based forward.
A win with a good margin will take Kenya to third place in the group and still within striking range of the top.
Gabon down Burundi in Dar es Salaam to move top
This comes as Jim Allevinah and Dennis Bouanga scored as Gabon beat Burundi 2-1 in their second Group F 2026 World Cup qualifier played at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Abedi Bigirimana halved the deficit for Burundi three minutes to time, but they couldn’t complete the comeback, Gabon moving top of the group after back to back wins.
Burundi had hoped to build on from their win over Gambia at the same venue last week, but it was Gabon who would put substance into their hopes of World Cup qualification with a well worked performance.
Allevinah opened the scoring in the 35th minute with a simple side footed finish, after being picked out by a decent cutback from Anthony Oyono.
The game was closely contested, with both sides trying to put the game to bed. Ultimately it was Gabon who would get the second, Bouanga scoring in the 83rd minute to take Gabon to comfort.
But they were made to wait nervously when Bigirimana volleyed the ball home from a Shabani Hussein flick in the 87th minute. However, Gabon defended with their lives to ensure they protected the narrow win.