Ivory Coast hit by injuries ahead of Madagascar showdown

Ivory Coast hit by injuries ahead of Madagascar showdown
Ivory Coast coach Patrice Beaumelle

by Bertin Basson

Monday Nov 16, 2020. 09:00

Ivory Coast have been hit by injuries to key players ahead of Tuesday’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier at Stade Barikamdimy in Toamasina.

Kick-off is at 3pm CAT.

The Elephants beat their Group K counterparts 2-1 at Stade Ebimpe in Abidjan on Thursday to move level on six points with the island nation after three rounds of fixtures.

Gervinho and Sebastian Haller, who was making his debut, found the back of the net for the hosts before Barea star Paulin Voavy reduced the deficit to make for a nervy finish. In the end, the West Africans held on to claim a valuable win and go into the reverse fixture in Toamasina ahead of the Malgasy in the group due to a superior head-to-head record.

“I felt my players were a little tense. Even almost without energy, ” Ivory Coast head coach Patrice Beaumelle noted in the aftermath.

“I had to give voice every time. In any case, at the start of the game, my players did not manage to free themselves. In the second half, the intentions were good. I am satisfied with the content of the second half. ”

Madagascar head coach Nicolas Dupuis was impressed with his team’s performance despite the loss in Abidjan and is confident that his team can get something out of the match on Tuesday.

“I didn’t find my team bad at all. We had a slump after half-time and within 15 minutes we conceded two goals,” said Dupuis.

“After we scored we could have come back and got the equaliser. I believe that we gave everything.”

Already without Wilfried Zaha due to family reasons, Ivory Coast are also sweating on the fitness of Max Gradel, Maxwel Cornet and Jonathan Kodjia who had to be replaced by Haller in the first-half of Thursday’s encounter.

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