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African All Stars

Pepe, Bailly, Cornet star as Cote d'Ivoire end 2019 Afcon qualifiers on a high

6:54 PM EDT 3/23/19
Eric Bailly - Ivory Coast
The Elephants wrapped up their progress to the biennial football showpiece with a comfortable win in Abidjan

Goals from Nicolas Pepe, Eric Bailly and Maxwel Cornet fired Cote d'Ivoire to a 3-0 win over Rwanda in Saturday's 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Ibrahim Kamara's men capped their qualification to the Afcon finals in Egypt with an emphatic triumph in front of home fans. 

Pepe who has scored 17 goals in the French Ligue 1 this season replicated his form at Lille to give the hosts an early lead at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in the seventh minute.

After the restart, efforts from Bailly and Cornet in the 67th and 72nd minutes later secured maximum points for the west African team.

Few minutes to the end of the game, Manchester United were dealt a potential injury blow after Bailly was involved in a head challenge which saw him replaced by Ismael Traore in the 81st minute.

Cote d'Ivoire who booked their spot in the tournament after a 1-1 draw with leaders Guinea in November finished second in Group H with 11 points from six matches.