Sébastien Haller shines on the tuber field and is worth gold for Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast has the World Cup qualifier against Cameroon won Monday night. Won against the biggest competitor from Group D les Éléphants 2-1, thanks to two goals from Sebastien Haller. The Ajax striker was replaced halfway through the second half, while PSV midfielder Ibrahim Sangaré finished the match. Ivory Coast, which started the qualifying series on Friday with a 0-0 draw against Mozambique, is now on four points. The group winner will compete against another group winner with a World Cup ticket as stake.
From a penalty, Haller opened the score on the visibly bad field in Abidjan in the twentieth minute. After a free kick by Jean Michaël Seri, the ball came into the eyes of the arbitration on the arm of Vincent Aboubakar, who received a yellow card for his handball. The attacker himself claimed that the ball landed on his shoulder, but he was unable to avoid a penalty. Haller convincingly aimed the penalty into the left corner. Ten minutes later, the striker struck again. Jean Evrard Kouassi passed Duplexe Tchamba and sent a through ball to Haller, who found the left corner from inside the penalty area.
At the end of the first half, Sangaré got injured. After a duel for the ball with Martin Hongla, in which apparently nothing serious happened, Sangaré suddenly felt pain. The pain may have stemmed from a moment in the opening phase of the match, when the midfielder was visibly distressed. Sangaré, after he went to the grass, was treated on the field by the medical staff and then taken away on a stretcher. After that, however, he came back on the field to finish the first half and national coach Patrice Beaumelle did not change him for the remainder of the game.
After an hour, Cameroon also received a penalty. Referee Mehdi Abid Charef thought he saw dangerous play from Eric Bailly in a duel with Karl Toko Ekambi, after which Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu from the penalty kick and found the right corner. He was then immediately substituted and halfway through the second half, Ivory Coast’s goal scorer, Haller, was also taken off; he was no longer involved after the break. Sixteen minutes before the end, the first serious chance for Ivory Coast followed in the second half: a twisting free kick by Seri shattered the crossbar. Three minutes before the end, Christian Kouamé Koffi appeared in front of goalkeeper Devis Epassy, but the substitute failed to finish.