The men’s national football team Harambee Stars provided the perfect response to their opening loss in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as they thrashed Seychelles 0-5 in their second Group F match played on Monday night at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
Team captain Michael Olunga led the team from the front as he bagged a brace that ended his goal drought in front of goal as well as steering the Engin Firat-coached side to the domineering performance over the island nation.
Goals apiece from Masoud Juma and the Gor Mahia duo of Ronney Onyango and Benson Omalla then sealed the result that handed Kenya their first win in the qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup tournament set to be jointly hosted by USA, Mexico and Canada.
Prior to the game, Kenya were looking to bounce back from their bitter 2-1 defeat against Gabon in their Group F opener that saw them surrender a goal advantage in that loss.
Just three minutes in, Olunga gave the team the perfect start after he capitalized on an opponent’s error before opening the scoring in the match.
Three minute later, one would soon turn to two as he reacted quickly to the goalkeeper failing to deal with his initial attempt before powering home to double Kenya’s lead inside six minutes.
The traffic was going in only one direction in the clash but Kenya missed numerous chances to extend their lead up until deep into first half stoppage time when the quick thinking Juma rifled his effort past the Seychelles goalkeeper to give Kenya a 0-3 lead at the break.
With Olunga having fluffed a number of opportunities to bag his hat trick and the Kenyan players all trying to go for glory, Onyango found his shooting boots with a first-time thunderbolt that extended Kenya’s lead. The goal was also his first in the national team colours in what was only his third game.
The defender would turn from goal scorer to provider as he laid the ball on platter for his Gor Mahia teammate Benson Omalla who tapped into an empty net for the fifth and final goal that sealed the victory.
The result leaves Harambee Stars in third place in Group F on three points behind Ivory Coast and Gabon who have won their opening two matches.
Kenya will continue with its World Cup qualifiers in June 2024 with home matches against Burundi and Cote d’Ivoire.