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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Elephants stomp their authority in Group D

Elephants stomp their authority in Group D

Côte d’Ivoire were 2-1 winners over Malawi to regain the lead in Group D with 10 points, one ahead of Cameroon who had earlier beaten Mozambique 1-0.

Midfielder Franck Kessie scored the winner for Les Elephants off the penalty spot in the 66th minute after Khuda Muyaba had cancelled out Nicolas Pepe’s early goal for the West Africans.

Côte d’Ivoire had a perfect start in the match with Pepe hitting the back of the net in the second minute after a blunder from Malawian defender Peter Cholopi who miscontrolled the ball and allowed the Arsenal man space and time to beat the keeper one on one.

But, Malawi were relentless as they showed some fight to get back into the game. They did so in the 20th minute when Muyaba struck low into the bottom left corner after Chikoti Chirwa had won the ball off Serge Aurier with a superb tackle.

Malawi were pressing Côte d’Ivoire since the equalizer and Aurier almost gave them a second goal when he tapped the ball against his keeper. He however made amends with a brilliant goalline block after Chester Yamikani had taken a shot at goal.

In the second half, Côte d’Ivoire came back with an improved mentality and they were rewarded for the chase with the second goal when Kessie scored from the spot after Gervinho had been brought down inside the box by Denis Chembezi.

The defender almost made amends on the other end in the 85th minute but his point blank header unmarked at the backpost was saved by the keeper.

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