Harambee Stars dare to dream in exciting encounter against African champions Ivory Coast

The men’s national football team, Harambee Stars, will relish the chance of playing against reigning African champions Ivory Coast when the two sides meet on Tuesday evening in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier to be staged at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Sitting in position 107 in the latest FIFA rankings, Kenya will be daring to dream of a win when they come up against the West African side who are in position 38 on the globe.

The Engin Firat-coached side however go into the clash on the back of a self-inflicted setback that saw them share the spoils against Burundi in their last qualifying match played on Friday.

Kenya had a narrow 1-0 lead in that game but a costly defensive blunder by Daniel Anyembe saw the Burundians equalize with only five minutes left, denying Kenya what would have been their second victory in Group F where they sit in third spot on 4 points (W1 D1L1).

“The team wanted to take maximum points against Burundi but it was unfortunate at the end we could not get the three points. Of course it was a setback but we managed to get a point from it if you look at it from a different angle.

Now the team is fully focused for the match against Ivory Coast. They are the African champions and pose a different threat compared to Burundi.

We have a plan on how we intend to counter that threat.  It’s not going to be an easy game but the team is ready for the challeng,” Kenyan captain Michael Olunga said ahead of the game.

Ivory Coast on the other hand go into the clash riding high on confidence as they top the group on 9 points having won all three matches.

They are also unbeaten in their last seven matches (W6 D1) heading into the game where they are the favourites.

Head coach Emerse Fae warned his side to closely monitor Olunga who has scored seven goals for Kenya in his last four matches.

“Kenya is a difficult team to play and they have a good striker in Olunga who can play in different styles. It will be a tough game but the players are ready to go,” he said in the prematch press conference.

Kenya has given late call-ups to Clyde Senaji who plies his trade with Malawi’s Nyasa Big Bullets and the Kenya Police duo of David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng David Okoth to strengthen the central defense and attack respectively.

Zak Vyner and Tobias Knost have been ruled out of the game.