Kenya run riot in Abidjan

Kenya run riot in Abidjan
Kenya captain Michael Olunga

by Staff Reporter

Monday Nov 20, 2023. 23:04

Kenya put their first points on the board in Group F after dispatching Seychelles 5-0 in a 2026 World Cup qualifier at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on Monday night.

Engin Firat’s side squandered the lead against Gabon in Franceville last week to lose 2-1 in their Group F opener, but they gave an emphatic response by scoring three goals in the first half before adding another two in the second 45 minutes.

The Harambee Stars moved up to third place, three points behind Ivory Coast and the Panthers, with the Pirates bringing up the rear after shipping 14 goals in their first two matches.

The visitors got off to the best possible start when Michael Olunga pounced on a poor pass from the opposition defence to slot his shot past Carlos Simeon in the third minute.

Olunga was celebrating again just three minutes later as Seychelles failed to clear their lines and the striker beat Simeon at the second attempt after the goalkeeper saved his initial effort.

Kenya were in total control of proceedings, pinning the island minnows back inside their own half with wave upon wave of attacks. Olunga wasted two chances to complete his hat-trick before Masoud Juma struck on the stroke of half-time.

The hosts switched off from a throw-in on the left which was taken quickly and Juma fired past Simeon from close range to make it 3-0.

Eric Johana should have added a fourth after the restart when he got on the end of Olunga’s cross, but only succeeded in hitting the frame of the goal from close range.

However, Rooney Onyango made no mistake in the 62nd minute as he drilled his shot across Simeon into the bottom left corner of the net after Aboud Omar’s low cross deflected into his path.

Benson Omalla then completed the scoring 11 minutes later after Onyango latched onto a sloppy pass from Simeon and square the ball for his team-mate to tap home into an open net.

The Harambee Stars pushed for a sixth goal, but wayward passing in the final third and a couple of saves from Simeon ensured they would not add to the scoreline.

Seychelles 0

Kenya (3) 5 (Olunga 3′, 6′, Juma 45+3′, Onyango 62′, Omalla 73′)

Seychelles: C. Simeon, M. Cissoko (S. Ladouce 86′), M. Payet, L. Panayi, G. Waye-Hive, H. Monay (K. Nourice 59′), E. Sopha (M. Freminot 59′), N. Labiche, I. Raheriniaina, R. Damoo (B. Labrosse 59′), R. Henriette (F. Renaud 86′).

Kenya: P. Matasi, A. Nondi, J. Omurwa (N. Kibunguchy 89′), D. Ng’ang’a, E. Otieno (A. Omar 46′), R. Onyango (T. Ouma 89′), R. Odada, T. Akumu, E. Johana (A. Masika 66′), M. Olunga, M. Juma (B. Omalla 66′).

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