Ivory Coast book place in World Cup Finals
- 16 November 2013 21:05
- Posted by @NieldyMCFC and @porter_mcfc
Yaya Toure's Ivory Coast had to survive a late scare to book their place at World Cup Brazil 2014 following a 4-2 aggregate win against Senegal.
Already 3-1 to the good from the first game of this two-legged qualifier, The Elephants had a healthy advantage going into tonight's game at the Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca and were looking to cement their place in their third consecutive World Cup Finals.
Sow's 77th minute penalty after Drogba had fouled Sane broken the deadlock on the night, and promised to set up a grandstand finish. Despite a spirited and energetic showing from the Lions of Teranga, who endeavored hard to find a second goal, it never came and Soloman Kalou's late break-away goal sealed the victory for the Ivorians.
Yaya Toure had a quiet evening by his high standards, receiving a first half booking for pulling back N'Doye, however the City man was involved in the injury time strike that ensured his country will be playing in Brazil.
Saturday evening's late kick off saw Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas start for Spain in what ultimately proved to be a disappointing display by the world champions.
Negredo played the first-half but was substituted at the break while Navas was a constant threat during his 66 minutes on the pitch as Spain beat Equatorial Guinea 2-1 in Malabo.
And Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta both came on as 63rd minute subs as Argentina drew 0-0 with Ecuador in New Jersey.
Kun almost stole the headlines, too, striking the bar with one of the last kicks of the game as the Albiceleste played their part in a pulsating encounter.
Elsewhere, following his first international call-up, Emyr Huws was an unused substitute as Wales drew 1-1 with Finland in a friendly at Cardiff City Stadium. An injury time Riski strike cancelled out Andy King's headed opener.
On Friday night, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy’s hopes of reaching Brazil 2014 were dented as France were beaten 2-0 by Ukraine in the first leg of their World Cup play off.
After a first half of few decent chances, the game came to life after the break and City’s no.8 was at the centre of the action, creating a good opportunity for Olivier Giroud just three minutes after the restart.
But it was Ukraine who broke the deadlock after 61 minutes through Roman Zozulya, and Didier Deschamps’ men were forced to pile forward in search of an equaliser. They enjoyed the majority of possession and Giroud turned provider for Nasri, but his shot proved to be too close to the goalkeeper.
Ukraine added a second from the spot shortly after Nasri was replaced by Valbuena, and the game finished with ten on each side after Laurent Koscielny and Oleksandr Kucher were dismissed.
The two teams will face off again in the return leg in Paris on Tuesday, and City’s French duo will both be hoping they can make a telling impact as Les Bleus aim to turn the tie around.
Costel Pantilimon was an unused sub for Romania as their hopes of qualification were also dealt a resounding blow. Greece were 3-1 victors on home soil and will be confident of preserving that lead when they visit Romania in the return leg.
Meanwhile, James Milner started for the Three Lions as England went down 2-0 to Chile in a friendly at Wembley, undone by two Alexis Sanchez strikes.
The City man was involved right from the kick off, winning a free kick in a good position and sending in a tantalising cross which flashed across the face of goal in the opening exchanges.
He surged forward down the right repeatedly, putting in a second good cross and seeing a powerful shot deflected over the bar in the first quarter of an hour.
James went off after 65 minutes and was replaced by Jermain Defoe, as Roy Hodgson looked to examine different combinations in attack.
The England boss used the friendly to hand debuts to several uncapped players, including keeper Fraser Forster, which meant Joe Hart stayed on the bench.
It was Fabio Capello’s Russia who took the lead after half an hour through Aleksandr Samedov, but Serbia hit back just six minutes later – Filip Dordevic finding the net.
In front of a vocal Serbian support, Kolarov displayed his attacking impetus down the left flank as his side searched for an elusive second goal. Much the better side in the second period, Serbia could not find the net and had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
John Guidetti was an unused substitute for Sweden u21s in their European Championship Qualifier away to Greece, which the Swedes lost 5-1.
The striker is still coming back after an injury lay-off but will be hoping to play some part in Tuesday’s clash with Malta.
"Meanwhile, Sinan Bytyqi has been in full scoring mode for Austria u19s. The EDS forward has now struck four times in two games for his country, as Austria aim to reach the finals of the u19 European Championships."
Sinan, who has been shining for City in the UEFA Youth League this season, netted twice in a 6-0 demolition of Finland and grabbed another brace in a 3-1 victory over Kazakhstan.
Defender Shay Facey played 90 minutes for England u19s in a friendly clash with Hungary. City’s Young Lion has now started the side’s last three games in his quest to nail down an automatic spot for his country.