President William Ruto has congratulated Harambee Stars for stunning hosts Qatar 2-1 in a friendly match held last Friday and urged Kenyans to show up in large numbers and cheer the national team on Tuesday when they face “Bright Stars” of South Sudan in another friendly match at Moi International Sport Centre (MISC) Kasarani.
Defender Joseph Okumu and midfielder Amos Nondi scored for Kenya in the match that was held at Al-Janoubi Stadium, which is located in the outskirts of Doha.
Against South Sudan, Kenya coached by Engin Firat will be looking to build on the win over the Middle East nation, as they continue with preparations for their Group F, 2026 World Cup qualifiers scheduled to start in November. Seychelles, Burundi, Gambia, Gabon, and Côte d’Ivoire are the other teams in the pool.
“Congratulations Harambee Stars for winning against the Qatar national team last week. I’m happy very many Kenyans showed up in Qatar to cheer our team. As you are all aware, today at 4pm, Harambee Stars will be playing against South Sudan, I want to ask all Kenyans to show up at 4pm to cheer our champions Harambee Stars,” said the Head of State in a recorded video shared by Statehouse.
Firat and Harambee Stars captain Michae Olunga have said that they will cautiously approach the friendly match against South Sudan given their opponents’ athletic prowess.
The two spoke at their final training session Monday evening at MISC. “A match against your neighbours is always a difficult one. Physically their players are quite athletic so physicality will also play a key role in the game.
They are a different kind of opponent from Qatar so we have to shift quite a different kind of strategies and I believe this taking that into factor, the fielded players with the right quality will be ready to give a good performance,” said Olunga.
“We are playing a rival with young players who run like crazy. It is not easy to open them so we need to be patient. Like I said, some players are missing so we will play a different structure. But the main point for us is how we learn to grow in our way to open the game and how we keep the ball. In modern football, this is the only way to go somewhere, otherwise we have no chance.
Defender Johnstone Omurwa and Ayub Timbe are the players who will miss the match.
According to Firat, Omurwa’s club Estrela da Amadora in Portugal requested to have him back for their weekend clash against giants FC Porto while Timbe picked an injury.