Mali will be hosting Kenya’s Harambee Stars at the Adrar Stadium-Morocco in a Group E 2022 World Cup Qualifiers on Thursday 7, October 2021.
It will be the third match day for both countries with Mali leading the group with four points to Kenya’s two; the same number of points as Uganda Cranes who have a date with bottom-placed Rwanda on the same day.
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While Stars have not been in a World Cup tournament before, many including returnee Abud Omar believe they have all it takes to make their maiden bow in the World showpiece. Under new coach Engin Firat, Kenya will be hoping to record their first win in the qualification process after drawing Rwanda and Uganda in their first two games.
Mali are considered favorites in the group but how have they fared against Kenya before?
Both teams have met twice in history; all coming in the African Cup of Nations.
The first meeting happened in the 1972 African Cup of Nations held in Cameroon. Kenya under the tutelage of German tactician Eckhard Krautzun landed in Group A that had the hosts, Mali and Togo.
Kenya had begun their campaign with a 2-1 loss to the hosts with Niva scoring Kenya’s goal. They were to come up against Mali in the second game and held the West African Nations to a 1-1 draw; Gor Mahia’s Nicodemus Arudhi earning us a point with a striker in the 60th minute after Keita had put Mali into the lead.
Kenya was to finish her group with another 1-1 draw in their final group game against Togo; an outing that saw them finish third in the group with two points; Cameroon (5) and Mali (3) being the teams making it to the knockout round.
The second meeting between the two sides came in the 2004 African Cup of Nations when Kenya was under Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee. Kenya was to lose 3-1 in their Thursday opponents with goals from Mohamed Sissoko and a Frederic Kanoute double rendering a Titus Muluma strike as a mere consolation.