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2022 World Cup Qualifiers

Malawi Fire Blanks Against Ivory Coast

Malawi lost their third Group C match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 3-0 to Cote d’Ivoire on Friday at Orlando Stadium in South Africa

In the wake of the loss, the Southern Africans are now sitting at number three with three points in their campaign thus far.

For the visitors, a goal each from Max-Alain Gardel, Ibrahim Sangare and Jeremie Boga allowed them to walk away with the full three points.

Both sides started on a low note, but it was the visitors who had a great opportunity through Christian Kouame, though his effort went inches past the post when he struck from a good position in the 15th minute.

The Flames pushed to find an early goal, but defender Charles Petro fired his shot over the crossbar as they had a better chance to grab the lead.

Another sight to goal presented itself to a certain Gabadinho Mhango right after the half-hour mark, but the diminutive attacker again failed to trouble the Elephants goalkeeper Sylyian Gbohouo.

Ivory Coast were finally up and running five minutes later through Gardel as he unleashed a shot from an acute angle sending Flames goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa to the wrong side.

With 10 minutes towards the end of the first half, Ivorian shot stopper Gbohouo was forced to produce a fine save as he denied Mhango’s header.

It was 1-0 at half time.

Ivory Coast came to life again shortly thereafter and threatened a second from a delivery across the face of goal after a nice passing move, but Frank Kessie missed target.

Uncertainty in Ivory Coast’s defence later on had Gerald Phiri clear, but Odilon Kassonou’s goal-line clearance saved the day before Willy Boly missed a one-on-one at the other end.

More positive spells followed the Elephants  in the closing quarter, as Sangare dragged a cutback from Serge Aurier narrowly past the bottom-corner.

Although the visitors were home and dry with a 2-0 lead, Boga managed to have his name on the score-sheet when he netted in the 90th minute following a delivery by Diamande.

In the end, the hard-fought win sees coach Patrice Beaumelle’ troops remaining at number one with seven points from two wins and one draw so far.

However, the two sides are set to meet for the return leg in Cotonou, Benin on Monday and the Flames will want to avenge this defeat.


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