Just days after defeating the 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar in an international fixture, Kenya’s Harambee Stars have been humiliated at home today.
Tito Okello netted the solitary goal just two minutes into the match, leading South Sudan to a 1-0 victory over Harambee Stars in the international friendly.
Okello who plys his trade for Kenya Premier League side Kenya Police Fc capitalized on a defensive error by Stars’ defender Joseph Okumu.
Thereby propelling the Bright Stars into the lead, that they tenaciously maintained until the final whistle.
For the Stars, it marked a disappointing conclusion to the FIFA international friendly window, following their spirited triumph over Qatar in Doha on Thursday last week.
The outcome poses additional questions for head coach Engin Firat, particularly as he approaches the competitive phase in November, with Stars participating in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Given their FIFA world ranking of 105 compared to their opponents’ ranking of 167, observers anticipated an easy time for the home side.
The match had garnered the interest of President William Ruto, who urged Kenyans to show up in significant numbers to rally behind the team.
This marked the first occasion since 2021 that Harambee Stars played in front of their supporters.
The previous instance was against Rwanda before FIFA imposed a ban on Kenya due to government interference.
Firat’s team will now come together in preparation for the commencement of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in October.
The Stars are set to compete against Ivory Coast, Gabon, the Gambia, Burundi, and Seychelles.
Only one team will secure an automatic spot in the global showpiece, which will take place in North America.