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Ivory Coast Prove They are Worthy African Champions after Easing past Mali in a 4 goal thriller

With the AFCON qualifying campaign done and dusted, the continent’s finest teams sought to make the most of an early opportunity to begin their road to Russia on a high note.

Though many fans have been doubting the Cote d’Ivoire team’s abilities after the retirement of its golden generation, the Elephants had a point to prove when they faced Mali in Bouake.

The visitors had the first laugh with an early goal courtesy of Sambou Yetabare who got the better of Manchester United’s Eric Bailey to slide in a shot past Slyvian Gbohouo.

It took eight minutes for Ivory Coast to settle their nerves after the new kid on the block, Jonathan Kodijia leveled the score when he finished off a well-controlled pass from Frank Kessie.

Attacking relentlessly, the Ivoirians took the lead just five minutes later after Mali’s defender Salif Coulibaly struck a Serge Aurier pass into his own net.

The Elephants Captain, Gervinho sealed the victory just 38 minutes into the first half with a flawless volley from his left. The second half was rather quiet with both teams failing to find the net.

The fans faith seemed restored after the first half performance where both Kodijia and Gervinho looked unstoppable.

Ivory Coast now tops group C with 3 points above next year’s AFCON hosts Gabon who drew 0-0 with Morrocco in Franceville. The Les Aigles are in fourth place having lost 3-1in Bouake.

The Ivorian’s next travel to Marrakech to face Morocco on Match Day Two on 12th November 2016, whilst Mali battles Gabon same day in Bamako.

The African champions are eyeing a fourth consecutive appearance at the World cup and hope to build on the impressive record the Yaya Toure Generation left behind.

In other games yesterday Saturday 8th, the D R Congo demolished the Libyans 4-0 in their bid to reach their first World Cup since 1974 with outstanding performances from both Dieumerci Mbokani and Everton’s Yannick Bolaise.

South Africa conceded a late goal from Burkina Faso in the 1-1 away draw in group D as Senegal thrashed Cape Verde 2-0 to top the group with 3 points.

The four Matches today Sunday 9th will have Algeria lock horns with Cameroon whereas Nigeria travels to Zambia in the group of death as they look to move on from the AFCON qualifications disaster.

Egypt will also look to continue their search for glory against the Republic of Congo while Tunisia will go toe to toe with Guinea.


Featured Photo: Ivory Coast Captain Gervinho in Action. (Photo from Getty Images)

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