Seri Jean Michael of Ivory Coast
Sunday Nov 18, 2018. 21:27
A 1-1 draw at the Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry on Sunday night was enough for both Guinea and Ivory Coast to book a place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Syli Nationale had secured qualification before the match even kicked off, with the earlier result between Rwanda and Central Africa Republic (a 2-2 draw in Butare) ensuring they would finish in the top two regardless.
And the Elephants then claimed the same status – they are three points clear of third-placed CAR, but guaranteed to finish ahead of them on head-to-head results should the teams end level on points when the qualifiers wrap up in March next year.
Guinea claimed the lead just 11 minutes into the match, with Mohamed Yattara getting the better of goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo after some poor defence from the visitors.
Yet Ivory Coast responded well to the setback and drew level in the 21st minute through midfielder Jean Michael Seri, who put aside his struggles at club level with Fulham to star for the Elephants.
The away side’s midfield triumvirate of Seri, Serey Die and Franck Kessie were bossing the match and helped to create several more half-chances, though the score remained locked at 1-1 by the time of the interval.
The second half remained evenly balanced between the teams, but the fact that a draw would suit both seemed to stake any real sting out of the match between these West African rivals.
The Elephants would have been hoping for revenge for the defeat they suffered at home to Syli Nationale in June last year, but ended up settling for a valuable point on the road instead.
Guinea (1) 1 (Yattara 11’)
Ivory Coast (1) 1 (Seri 21’)
Guinea: Aly Keita, Sylla, Seka, Falette (Conte 58’), Sankoh, Naby Keita, Camara, Diawara, Kamano (Barry 86’), Kaba, Yattara
Ivory Coast: Gbohouo, Aurier, Gbamin, Kanon, Konan, Kessie (Doukoure 68’), Die, Seri, Gradel, Kodjia, Pepe (Cornet 85’)