Harambee Stars Duke Abuya (left) and Romimgue Kouame (centre) and Dadie Samassekou of Mali during 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers return match at the Nyayo National stadium. Oct 10, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenya’s dream of playing at the 2022 World Cup fell short yesterday after the second loss in a week at the hands of West-Africans Mali in a qualifiers match played at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi.

Mali’s forward Ibrahima Kone returned to haunt Kenya once again with his 55th-minute goal, enough to hand the West Africans all three points.

Kone last Thursday was a thorn in the flesh for Harambee Stars defenders in Agadir, Morocco where he scored three goals in the 5-0 win.

The defeat effectively ended Kenya’s 2022 World Cup dream as they now trail Mali with eight points. Only group winners proceed to the final qualifying round. Mali remain top of Group E with 10 points after the win.

New coach Engin Firat asked for patience from the fans and called on the team to embrace lessons taken into the final two games.

“There was marked improvement in Sunday’s game compared to what we witnessed on Thursday. We managed to string together some complete passes and the attacking force looked much sharper. It’s a learning process and we have borrowed some vital lessons that will prove vital in our remaining two matches against Rwanda and Uganda,” said Firat.

On social media, Kenya football fans could not hide their frustration at the team, most still questioning Firat’s appointment by Football Kenya Federation.

 

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