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Ivory Coast came back from a goal down to eventually earn a comfortable win in their opening Group C World Cup 2018 qualifiers game.

After dominating the first fifteen minutes, Mali took a 18th -minute lead when Sombotou Yabatare finished a flowing move.

Kodja Jonathan levelled matters for Ivory Coast with a fierce shot and Salif Coulibary scored own goal to put Elephants ahead in 25th minute before Gervinho squeezed the third under goalkeeper Ssisoko

Mali will feel they missed the chance to cause a shock – especially after having the better of things for two-thirds of the match.

It was only Ivory Coast goalkeeper Gbohouo who kept them at bay in a largely disappointing first half.

In the 23rd minute he tipped a 35-yard shot from Mali captain Coulibally on to the bar.

Mali went ahead early in the first half when Yabbattare slotted the ball home from eight yards after lovely build-up play from Koone and Marega.

Three minutes later Saif Coulibally scored own goal that proved to be the turning point.

Experienced forward Gervinho added the third with a superb volley from a tight angle on 34th minute.

Ivory Coast are leading their group with three points after Morocco played out a 0-0 draw with Gabon earlier in the day.

Ivory Coast XI: Gbohouo; Aurier, Eric Bailly, Lamine Kone, Kanon, Serey Die, Kessie, Jean-Michael Seri, Gradel, Gervinho, Kodjia

-Mali XI: Sissoko; Traoré, Coulibaly, Wagué, Koné, Sylla, Yatabaré, Coulibaly, Doumbia, Marega, Yatabaré

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