The Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire handed Gambia a 3-0 drubbing at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium on Saturday to strengthen their top position in Group C
Cote D’Ivoire defeated visiting Gambia 3-0 on Saturday in Abidjan in the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifying to consolidate their lead in Group C with seven points.
The Dutch Eredivisie current top scorer Bony Wilfried opened the scoring for the continent’s number one team before one each from Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and former Chelsea winger Salomon Kalou sealed the Elephants’ exhilarating victory that to some extent reconciled the team with local fans after their debacle at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
Team captain Didier Drogba was missing in action after he was dropped by coach Sabri Lamouchi due to an unconvincing form, and his absence was greatly felt during the first half when the home side struggled against the lowly Scorpions, who succeeded in impeaching the star-studded outfit to play a settled and constructive game.
Arsenal’s Gervinho could be named man of the match for his tireless efforts in driving the attacking line and distributing countless balls to his mates notably Kalou, Bony and Ya Konan Didier. However, the Gambians kept recovering the ball each time they lost it and were launching onslaughts as well.
By the second half, the Ivorians began to find their footing and their first major action in front of the visitors’ goal broke the deadlock. Gervinho cut in to the Gambia box from the right after connecting a long cross from Yaya, and attempted to meander through two defenders but was held by a hand and floored, resulting in a penalty, which Bony Wilfried transformed with ease by the 50th minute.
Cote D’Ivoire poured forth henceforth as the resistance of the Scorpions kept waning. Gambia goalkeeper Allen Christopher singlehandedly saved his side from further havoc with breathtaking saves, before Yaya Toure compounded their situation when he doubled for the hosts by the hour mark through a header from the left flank on the edge of the box.
The pressure from the Ivorian team continued and by the last quarter of the encounter they made it to 3-0, with Gervinho working it out once more after dribbling his way through four defenders in the Gambia box and side-crossing to Salomon Kalou, who finished the sublime effort inside the back net.
Cote D’Ivoire would remain on top of Group C with seven points however the outcome of the group’s second match between second-placed Tanzania on three points and Morocco on two.