Ghost Mulee explains how Harambee Stars can seal unlikely 2026 World Cup qualification

© FKF Media.

FOOTBALL Ghost Mulee explains how Harambee Stars can seal unlikely 2026 World Cup qualification

Joel Omotto 07:02 - 23.11.2023

The former Harambee Stars coach believes Kenya have every chance to qualify for the 2026 World Cup if they sort out certain things before their next match.

Former Harambee Stars head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee believes Kenya can upset the formbook and seal qualification to the 2026 FIFA World Cup if they get their strategy right.

Kenya got their campaign back on track when they beat Seychelles 5-0 on Monday, the win coming after a 2-1 loss away to Gabon last week.

The win has left Engin Firat’s men third in Group F with three points, three behind early pacesetters Ivory Coast and Gabon.

Only the group winners directly qualify for the World Cup, while the four best group runners-up will participate in play-offs to determine which team will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.

Ivory Coast and Gabon have been termed Group F favourites for a place at the tournament to be hosted in the United States, Canada, and Mexico but Mulee feels Kenya can still sneak through.

“The secret is never to lose at home and get some wins away,” Mulee told Pulse Sports.

“Looking at the group, if they can win away to Burundi and The Gambia then it is possible because you cannot also afford to lose all away games.”

To do that, Mulee who handled Harambee Stars in three stints and led them to the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations, feels they will need to work on some areas where they have struggled in recently.

“Midfield needs some kind of revision. Defensively we are not bad, we were not rattled even in the absence of Joseph Okumu even though we had some individual mistakes,” added the former Tusker FC coach.

“In attack, we wasted too many chances. You cannot afford to miss too many chances away from home. They need to have confidence in front of goal.

“We fumbled against Gabon but football is unpredictable. The only team that is a clear favourite is Ivory Coast, the rest we can beat them and upset the formbook.”

Kenya have a tough road ahead with Harambee Stars’ next assignment against Burundi in June 2024, a tricky encounter that can go either way before they face Group F favourites Ivory Coast.

Both matches will be played in Nairobi and Kenya will need all the support they can since a negative outcome will jeopardize their chances of qualifying.

It will not get any better for Kenya after that, however, as a visit to The Gambia will follow before they host Gabon in Nairobi, both matches to be played in March 2025.

The Gambia might have started poorly but they showed at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations that they are not pushovers when they reached the quarter-finals at their maiden tournament and will fancy Kenya as a team they can pick maximum points from.

Gabon will also want to maintain their 100 percent record against Firat’s men, making the task more daunting.

Kenya will then have two back-to-back home games in September 2025 against The Gambia and Seychelles before they complete their qualifying campaign with away clashes to Burundi and Ivory Coast respectively.

Follow Pulse Sports WhatsApp channel for more news.