Kenya’s dream of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup suffered a heavy blow when Ibrahima Kone’s second-half goal inspired Group E leaders Mali to a crushing victory at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Sunday, October 10th, 2021.
The defeat effectively ended Kenya’s 2022 World Cup dream as they now trail Mali with eight points in Group E. Only group winners proceed to the final qualifying round.
Kone who features in for Sarpsborg 08 in the the Norwegian top flight league Eliteserien a connected a cross by eight times French Ligue 1 side Nantes defender Charles Traore from the left flank for the all important goal in the 54th minute.
Mali remain top of Group E with 10 points after the win, two points ahead of second placed Uganda with Kenya winless in third spot with two as Rwanda are perched at the basement of the table by managing one point.
Kenya welcomed Mali to Nairobi with the home side needing to win all their remaining fixtures to have a sniff of clinching the only ticket available from Group E to make the third and final round of CAF qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has made four changes to his line up as Kenya hosted Mali in the return leg of Group “E”, 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
In the team, Firat handed Brian Bwire a start in the goalkeeping position replacing both Ian Otieno and Farouk Shikalo who featured last Thursday when Kenya was hammered 5-0 by Mali in Morocco.
Apart from the goalkeeping position, Firat also brought in Abdallah Hassan, Boniface Muchiri and Duke Abuya in place of Joash Onyango, Henry Meja and Lawrence Juma.
Stanley Okumu and Johnstone Omurwa were retained as center backs with Erick Ouma and Abud Omar playing at the left and right back respectively.
The midfield saw Richard Odada and Kenneth Muguna play alongside Abdallah Hassan and Duke Abuya as Boniface Muchiri and Michael Olunga played as strikers.