Harambee Stars will not be at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after losing 1-0 at home to Mali in their fourth match of Group E at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.
Though a better performance from the 5-0 drubbing suffered in Agadir on Thursday, it was never enough to avoid defeat as Ibrahima Kone once again haunted Stars, scoring the winning goal in the 55th minute of the game.
Kone who struck a hattrick in the first leg in Agadir ensured that Mali keep their World Cup dream alive.
Kenya and Rwanda meanwhile have their ambitions come to a screeching halt and will play the last two matches for pride. Rwanda lost their match against Uganda 2-0 in Kampala to remain bottom of the pool with a single point.
In Nairobi, Stars were battling to keep their dream and dignity intact after Thursday’s catastrophe.
To his starting team, Head coach Engin Firat made changes from the squad that played in the first leg. Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma was switched from left to right back, Brian Bwire started in goal ahead of Faruk Shikalo while Duke Abuya was preferred to Lawrence Juma in midfield.
Abdallah Hassan and Boniface Muchiri were the other two changes from the team in Agadir as they started on either wing.
The gambles proved to work in the opening half, with Kenya playing better as compared to the first leg.
Abuya forced the Malian keeper into a fine save in the eighth minute when he struck a shot from inside the box after being teed up by Michael Olunga.