Mali 5-0 Kenya: Ibrahima Kone fires hat-trick in Harambee Stars demolition

Mali 5-0 Kenya: Ibrahima Kone fires hat-trick in Harambee Stars demolition

Harambee Stars had an evening to forget following a 5-0 humiliation to Mali on Wednesday evening in a World Cup Qualifier Group Stage match. 

Harambee Stars had an early chance, captain Michael Olunga was picked out just at the edge of the box, took a touch but his effort went narrowly wide. 

Mali responded well and had their opener through Adama Traore. Harambee Stars lost the ball in the midfield and Traore was released through on goal, slotted home past Ian Otieno.

Minutes later, Mali almost had their second and it was another mistake at the back but Otieno came out to clear the ball for a throw-in. 

The hosts had an injury concern as Boubakar Kouyate went down unchallenged and could not continue with Mamadou Fofana taking his place. 

Mali extended their lead, Kenya lost possession easily and were caught on the counter. A cross is well delivered, headed back towards the post and Ibrahima Kone made it 2-0. It became a more tough game for Stars as Kone scored his second of the game and the third for Mali.

Just before halftime, Mali were given a penalty after Abdalla Hassan brought down his opponent inside the box.  Kone stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to complete his hattrick, giving Mali a comfortable 4-0 lead. 

Four minutes to stoppage time, Mali had their fifth goal of the game in the net. After a lovely exchange of passes,  Moussa Doumbia was spotted inside the box, unleashed a weak shot that hit the post before deflecting on Faruk Shikhalo and to the back of the net. 

Group E standings 

Harambee Stars have now dropped to third with two points, three behind second-placed Uganda Cranes. The victory sees Mali go top with seven points while Rwanda are rooted at the bottom of the group with a single point. 

Kenya will host Mali on Sunday 10th in the return leg fixture in Nairobi.