On Monday night, the Ivory Coast defeated Cameroon in Group D of Africa’s 2022 World Cup Qualifying event at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan.
The Elephants won 2-1 with to a first-half brace from Sebastian Haller, with the Indomitable Lions pulling one back through Nicolas Ngamaleu.
Ivory Coast now leads the group with four points, while Cameroon has three. On Tuesday, Mozambique (one point) and Malawi (zero) will face off in Johannesburg.
Ivory Coast opened the game stronger than the other two sides, putting pressure on the opposition through players like Maxwel Cornet, Jeremie Boga, and Jean Kouassi.
Their forward drive was rewarded in the 19th minute when Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon handled in the 18-yard area, resulting in a penalty kick, which Sebastien Haller converted to make it 1-0.
The Elephants extended their lead on the half-hour mark, with Kouassi delivering a beautiful through ball to send Haller in on goal, where the striker fired a low drive past Cameroon goalkeeper Devis Epassy Mboka to put the hosts firmly in charge.
Ivory Coast continued to dominate the game until the halftime whistle, but they were unable to extend their lead.
Cameroon changed their lineup at the start of the second half, bringing on Karl Toko Ekambi and Stephane Bahoken from the bench, and they were able to find some attacking cohesion quickly.
On the hour mark, the Lions forced their way back into the game, with Eric Bailly giving away a penalty for a dangerous challenge. To make it 2-1, Nicolas Ngamaleu converted a penalty kick, setting up a frantic final 30 minutes.
On 75 minutes, midfielder Jean-Michael Seri hit the post with an effort direct from a free kick, almost restoring the Elephants’ two-goal lead.
In the final minutes of the game, the Indomitable Lions pressed hard for an equalizer, but the home side held fast in defense to secure a potentially crucial victory.
In October, both the Elephants and the Indomitable Lions will return to Group D action, with the Elephants facing Malawi in back-to-back matches and the Indomitable Lions facing Mozambique both at home and away.
(2) 2 (Haller 20′ pen 30′) Ivory Coast
Cameroon 0 (Ngamaleu 61′ pen) Cameroon 0 (Ngamaleu 61′ pen) Cameroon 0 (Ngam
Gbohouo, Aurier, Boly (Diomande 70′), Bailly, Kossounou, Cornet, Seri (Maiga 90+3′), Sangare, Boga (Traore 69′), Kouassi (Akpa Akpro 83′), Haller (Koffi 69′). IVORY COAST: Gbohouo, Aurier, Boly (Diomande 70′), Bailly, Koss
Epassy Mboka, Tchamba, Moukoudi, Ngadeu, Dawa, Anguissa, Hongla, Kunde (Ekambi 46′), Ngamaleu (Mary 62′), Bassogog (Lea 78′), Aboubakar (Bahoken 46′) CAMEROON: Epassy Mboka, Tchamba, Moukoudi, Ngadeu, Dawa, Anguissa