Coach Sebastien Migne was forced into making changes in the starting line-up, bringing in youngster Joseph Okumu in central defence in place of Joash Onyango, who picked up a toe injury in training on Saturday.
Ayub Timbe was also given a chance on the right wing, with Johanna Omollo dropping out, as Eric Johanna took the creative role while Francis Kahata moved to the left wing.
However, after a sloppy start, the Kenyan side were punished with two first-half goals as Baghdad Bounedjah sent keeper Patrick Matasi the wrong way from the penalty spot before Riyad Mahrez’s first-time shot took a deflection off Abud Omar’s right leg on its way in for the second.
After the final whistle, Kenyan's took to Twitter to ponder on the performance and Harambee Star's chances of progressing to the knockout stages from Group C.
After a 15 year absence from the tournament you played your hearts out but didn't get a favorable result. Keep your heads up and keep going, kuteleza sio kuanguka. The whole nation is still rooting for you #HarambeeStars all the best in the rest of your #AFCON2019 fixtures.— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) June 23, 2019
Success to #HarambeeStars in the #AFCON2019 . We have every belief that you will do the country proud and ably represent us in the continental showpiece. All the best as you fiercely compete and play attractive, attacking football that will guarantee goals and victory.— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) June 23, 2019
What an unpleasant evening for our East African teams! Taifa Stars harshly subdued by Lions of Teranga; Harambe Stars going into half time strongly eclipsed by Algerians. Not losing hope; we hope &pray for a better second half.— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) June 23, 2019
Keep fighting @harambee__stars . pic.twitter.com/Rundkc9Uws
Supporting Kenya is a rollercoaster of emotions. It's like your kid is sitting for KCSE. You're hoping he/she scores an A to become a doctor or engineer or lawyer but you know damn well that joker has been bringing home solid Ds all these years! #HarambeeStars pic.twitter.com/pcGMvmp5hB— Haytham Bhalo (@HaythamBhalo) June 23, 2019
I'll not be too harsh on #HarambeeStars . That is how all our institutions play: Our hospitals, our schools, our universities, and other public institutions.— Joshua K. Njenga (@JKNjenga) June 23, 2019
If Jubilee could not build a single stadium in 7 years, why should we expect Harambee Stars to win a game.