Cote D’Ivoire forward Sebastian Haller, returned from Cancer to score for his nation to help earn a 3-1 win over Comoros Island in match day three of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.
Christian Kouame, Sebastien Haller and substitute Jean-Philippe Krasso were the Ivorian scorers who reduced Ibroihim Youssouf’s goal for the visitors to a consolatory goal as the hosts ran out winners this Friday at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake.
The victory helped the Elephants guided by coach Jean-Louis Gasset to the top of Group H as they made it two wins and a draw in three outings so far.
Nothingham Forest full-back Serge Aurier first found the back of the net after in the warm afternoon, but the goal was chalked off after the officials adjudged he received the ball from a one-two play while in an offside position.
Haller received a great ball into the box and directed it low in an attempt to go under Salim Ben Boina in goal for Comoros but the latter made his body big and deflected for a corner.
Kouame finally put the hosts ahead to the delight of thousands of fans barely 29 minutes into the contest after receiving an inviting ball from PSV Endovein midfielder Ibrahima Sangare around the edge of the Comoros box.
The Fiorentina forward received a great ball from midfield which put him through with the goalkeeper to score his second goal in three qualifier matches so far.
Haller who had been a constant menace for the Comorian confirmed his comeback in the 59th minute after he leaped to direct his header into the bottom corner of Boina’s net for 2-0 Cote D’Ivoire.
Ghislaine Konan squared for Krasso deep into the second segment and the Metz man made it 3-0 after a neat footwork which left the keeper on his hips before the ball was directed into the net.
Haller, Gradel and the rest of the Ivorians who had been substituted or started on the bench joined the celebrations.
Youssouf pulled one back for the visitors in added time but it proved to be too little too late for coach Younes Zerdouk’s men who accepted their second defeat in three.
Cote D’Ivoire lead the group with seven points, a point better than immediate chasers Zambia while Comoros are third with three points so far. Lesotho’s one point makes them the top team from the bottom.
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