Ivory Coast out to humble top-ranked Morocco

Ivory Coast out to humble top-ranked Morocco
Ivory Coast players warm up

by Staff Reporter

Friday Oct 13, 2023. 13:36

Ivory Coast will play host to Africa’s top-ranked side Morocco in an international friendly match at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 7:00 pm CAT.

The Elephants wrapped up their 2023 AFCON qualifying campaign with a 1-0 victory over a stubborn Lesotho side at home on September 9 as they returned to winning ways.

Ivory Coast, who are set to host the 2023 AFCON finals between January and February 2024, have won three of their last four matches across all competitions.

“Out of the 25 selected, 22 took part in the session. Among them, Seko Fofana, Ousmane Diomandé, Wilfried Zaha, Evan Ndicka, Odilon Kossonou, Simon Adingra and Yayia Fofana,” an Ivorian Football Federation statement read on Tuesday.

“Three players are unavailable, Serge Aurier is injured, Ghislain Konan is ill and Christian Kouamé joining the group on Tuesday night.”

Meanwhile, Morocco snapped their three-match winless run across all competitions when they secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Burkina Fason in France on September 12.

The Atlas Lions are winless in their last four away matches and they will face Liberia at home on October 17 in what will be their final match in the 2023 AFCON qualifiers.

“Hakim [Ziyech] is suffering from a slight pain in his left knee,” Galatasaray head coach Okan Buruk said about Ziyech who is in Ivory Coast with his Morocco teammates.

“These players are not accustomed to the rhythm of consecutive matches due to not playing for a long time, so we do not want to risk him.

“This type of player cannot play at a high pace. After playing three matches he suffered an injury. I hope he will be ready after the international break.”

This will be the 22nd meeting between Ivory Coast and Morocco across all competitions.

The two teams have recorded seven wins each, while seven matches ended in a draw.

Their last meeting ended in a 1-0 win in favour of Morocco in a 2019 AFCON Group D match played in Egypt on 28 June 2019.

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