Karl Toko Ekambi, Cameroon vs Ivory Coast, November 2021Backpagepix

Cameroon dump Ivory Coast out of World Cup qualifiers, Tunisia progress

Olympique Lyonnais forward Karl Toko Ekambi’s first-half strike fired Cameroon to the play-offs round of the Fifa World Cup qualifiers following a slender 1-0 win over Ivory Coast in Douala on Tuesday.

Toko Ekambi’s 21st-minute goal separated the African giants in this Group D blockbuster.

Cameroon entered this group decider placed second but overtook the Elephants to go two points clear at the top of the group with the victory.

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It was a heartbreak for Ivory Coast who surrendered top spot, and they will now miss the World Cup to be hosted by Qatar.

It will be a second consecutive time for the Elephants to be absent at the global football showpiece after also missing the 2018 edition.

For Cameroon, if they win the last round of qualification, they will be returning to the World Cup where they last participated in 2014.

Mozambique and Malawi finished third and fourth in Group D after the former won 1-0 in neutral Benin.

Meanwhile, at Stade Olympique de Rades, three first-half goals helped Tunisia to top Group B and reach the next phase of qualification following an emphatic 3-1 win over Zambia.

Aissa Bilal Laidouni opened the scoreline for the Carthage Eagles 18 minutes into the match before Nottingham Forest defender Mohamed Drager doubled their advantage in the 31st minute.

Al Ahly’s Ali Maaloul added Tunisia’s third goal two minutes before half-time, while Fashion Sakala’s goal with 10 minutes remaining was not enough for Chipolopolo.

The victory saw Tunisia go two points clear of Group B as Zambia settled for third spot after a match in which Leceister City’s Patson Daka fully participated while Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Enock Mwepu was not available.

Finishing second in this pool were Equatorial Guinea following a 1-1 away draw against basement side Mauritania.

Equatorial Guinea entered into this match needed a victory while praying for a Tunisia defeat for them to advance to the play-offs round.