Côte d’Ivoire cruised past Liberia in the second round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, after recording a 3-0 win over the Lone Star in Abidjan on Tuesday.
The Elephants sealed their spot in the group stage 4-0 on aggregate, following their 1-0 victory in Monrovia in the first leg.
It is a rather convincing result for coach Michel Dussuyer’s side, who had to cope with the absence of star skipper Yaya Touré and attacking trio Max Gradel, Wilfried Bony and Salomon Kalou.
Stade Rennais striker Giovanni Sio put Côte d’Ivoire ahead on 16 minutes, as the locals dominated from the start at Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny.
And the 26-year-old doubled his side’s lead 20 minutes later to send the Elephants with a comfortable two-goal cushion into the break.
OGC Nice midfielder and former ASEC Mimosas playmaker Jean Michael Seri finished the job past the hour mark, to extend the 2015 African champions’ international journey in their bid for a fourth consecutive FIFA World Cup finals appearance.
Côte d’Ivoire 3 (2)-0 (0) Liberia
Goals: Giovanni Sio (16’ and 35’), Jean Michael Seri (64’) for Côte d’Ivoire
Cote d'Ivoire Starting XI: Sylvain Gbohouo, Ousmane Viera, Arthur Boka, Lamine Kone, Serge Aurier, Jean Daniel Akpa Akpro, Jean Michael Seri, Geoffroy Serey Die, Giovanni Sio, Seydou Doumbia, Gervinho.
Liberia Starting XI: Tommy Sango, Dennis Teah Baysah, Adolhus Marshall, Dirkir Glay, Solomon Grimes, Alseny Keita, Sam Johson, Dioh Williams, William Jebor, Zah Krangah, Antony Laffor.