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International Friendly Round Up: Ivory Coast Defeat Burkina Faso, Senegal Thrash Zambia

As we roll towards the opening group matches of Africa’s qualifying campaign for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in few weeks time, national team managers are preparing their teams for the international play.

Saturday was a big day 10 teams to take on the field and get in some work just a month after the postponement of qualifiers from June to September.

There were several interesting matches on yesterday’s list of international friendly fixtures, including some clashes between African football superpowers. Here are some of the highlights:

Senegal 3-1 Zambia

The Chipolopolo of Zambia fell to a heavy defeat to Senegal in highly explosive match played at Stade Lat Dior in Thies.

Lions of Teranga took the lead on the 21st minute courtesy of Sadio Mane’s well-taken penalty after Ismail Sarr was brought down by Paul Katema in the box. The goal placed the Liverpool attacker as the fifth Senegal’s all-time top goalscorer having taken his international tally to 22 goals.

Krepin Diatta, who turns for French Ligue 1 giants AS Moncao, doubled the advantage for Aliou Cisse’s men in the 31st minute after he was set up by fast winger Ismaila Sarr.

Sarr got his name on the score sheet at the stroke of the half-time when sent a powerful striker past advancing Zambia custodian Lameck Siame.

Micho Sredojevic’s men scored got a consolation goal in the second stanza when Dominic Chanda headed in a pinpoint Prosper Chiluya set piece.

With Senegal on the back foot, Zambia introduced Ntanzana Mayembe who was debuting for the Chipolopolo to replace Benedict Chepeshi.

The changes did add some life in the Chipolopolo attack but however could not overturn the two galas deficit in a match that saw the re-start delayed due to power outrage in Senegalese city of Thies.

The Gambia 2-0 Niger

RFC Seraing winger Ablie Jallow scored for the Scorpions of Gambian their convincing win against the Menas in a match played at Emirhan Sports Centre Stadium in Antalya, Turkey.

Jallow opened the scoring in the 28th minute when he received the ball in the box before rounding Niger  goalkeeper for the opener.

KV Kortrijk attacker Mohamed Badamosi marked his return to the fold with a strike of his own as the Scorpions delivered a statement of intent with a last-minute goal.

Tunisia 1-0 DR Congo

New DR Congo coach Hector Cuper suffered a loss in his first competitive game with the team away at the Stade Olympique de Rades in Tunis.

French-born midfielder Naim Sliti, who turns for Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ettifaq, scored the all-important goal right at the stroke of halftime.

Gael Kakuta threatened the hosts’ goal as early as the 10th minute but goalkeeper Mouez Hassen saved the danger.

Striker Chadrac Akolo should have put DR Congo in the lead a few minutes later following a goalmouth scramble but he ballooned his shot.

After knocking several times on the Leopards door, Tuisia took the lead in the 44th minute with a low long-range shot by Sliti that gave Baggio Saidi no chance.

However much they tried, the Leopards never came close to scoring with Tunisia’s defence standing firm and fighting for every ball.

In the end, DR Congo lost 1-0 in Cuper’s first competitive match and have started the World Cup qualifiers preparations on the back foot.

Ivory Coast 2-1 Burkina Faso

In Abidjan, Ajax star Lassina Traore opened the scoring in the 15th minute to give the Stallions of Burkina Faso an early lead.

Ivory Coast netted the equalizer later in the 72nd minute courtesy of Ibrahim Sangare and as the match looked  to end in a draw, Manchester United’s wonder-kid Amad Diallo scored from a set-piece.

Amad planted his effort into the top corner, sparking wild celebrations at the tade Alassane Ouattara D’Ebimpe.

Togo 2-0 Guinea

Al Ain star Kodjo Fo-doh Laba scored in the either half to inspire the Hawks of Togo in their first win after six international matches.

Laba scored the opener form the spot in the nine minute before sandwiching the victory with a scotching 15-yard screamer a minute before the end of the match.

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