Goal hungry Côte d'Ivoire target wounded Gambia

Goal hungry Côte d'Ivoire target wounded Gambia
Sebastien Haller of Ivory Coast celebrates goal during the 2023 International football friendly between Ivory Coast and Morocco at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan, Ivory Coast on 14 October 2023 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Sunday Nov 19, 2023. 13:00

Following a 9-0 thrashing of Seychelles in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier opener, Côte d’Ivoire will turn their attention to Gambia as their next challenge in Group F, with the two nations set to do battle at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium on Monday.

Kick-off is at 6:00pm (SA, GMT+2).

The Ivory Coast were the biggest winners in the latest round of World Cup qualifiers, following their mammoth 9-0 win over Seychelles on the 17th of November.

Despite being lesser opponents, Jean Louis Gasset named a star-studded line-up to face the Seychelles, with the likes of Serge Aurier, Wily Boly and Sebastian Haller shining for Côte d’Ivoire last week.

Côte d’Ivoire are expected to make their way out of Group F, with their victory over Seychelles putting them at the top of the pile given their nine-goal advantage.

Reflecting on the Seychelles victory, Gasset mentioned that the African giants oversaw a dream start to their World Cup qualifying campaign and that he is focused on having multiple blueprints when setting up his team.

“I think it’s a dream start. This is what I asked the players for both matches. Be efficient while respecting your opponent,” Gasset said.

“To compose my team, I thought about several equations because I thought about the return match. To be a great team, you need to have multiple blueprints.

“I preferred to start this match with the players in good form at the moment. I am happy with the performance of my players. Now we are going to Kampala where we will only have Sunday for rest.”

While the Elephants got their qualifying bid off with a victory, Gambia suffered an unlikely 3-2 loss against Burundi at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium on the 16th of November.

Burundi dominated the opening exchanges of the match as Abedi Bigrimana and Frederic Nsabiyumva got their names on the scoresheet shortly after the half-our mark.

While Musa Barrow pulled one back for Gambia on the stroke of half-time, Burundi extended their lead in the 75th minute as Sudi Abdallah got his name on the scoresheet.

As a consolation effort at the end of the game, Ebrima Colley managed to convert a 98th minute penalty for his side, however the attacker’s contribution proved to be too little to late as Gambia slumped to defeat in Tanzania.

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