Ivory Coast in pole position

Ivory Coast took a big step towards securing their place at next summer's World Cup finals with a 3-1 victory in the first leg of their play-off against Senegal in Abidjan on Saturday.

Last Updated: 12/10/13 at 20:40 Post Comment

Didier Drogba (r): Ivory Coast striker scored from the spot against Senegal

Didier Drogba (r): Ivory Coast striker scored from the spot against Senegal

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba opened the scoring in the fifth minute by neatly converting a penalty after a trip on Gervinho, and the hosts were two up on 12 minutes when Bordeaux defender Ludovic Sane inadvertently directed the ball past his own goalkeeper from Gervinho's cross.

Roma forward Gervinho was again the provider when Salomon Kalou made it 3-0 within four minutes of the restart, the Lille striker bursting through the middle and coolly slotting a low shot home for his 22nd international goal.

That looked to have put the Ivorians firmly in the driving seat to qualify for a third straight World Cup finals, but Papiss Cisse volleyed home deep into stoppage time to give Senegal hope heading into next month's second leg in Casablanca.

In Saturday's other play-off first leg, Burkina Faso edged Algeria 3-2 in Ouagadougou thanks to a controversial late penalty from Aristide Bance.

The Algerians twice battled back from a goal down, second-half strikes from Sofiane Feghouli and Carl Medjani cancelling out Jonathan Pitroipa's effort in first-half stoppage time and a Djakaridja Kone goal.

However, the referee pointed to the spot four minutes from time on the advice of his assistant for a dubious handball offence against Essaid Belkalem, and Fortuna Dusseldorf frontman Bance - who earlier had a first-half spot-kick saved - kept his composure when given a second chance to convert from 12 yards.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

ne of the conclusions from this list is that Man City should never buy a striker in January - good luck Wilfried Bony....

Savinator
F365's Top Ten Worst January Panic Buys

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

Footer 365

Transfer news: Samuel Eto'o leaves Everton for Sampdoria on free transfer

Samuel Eto'o has completed his free transfer from Everton to Sampdoria on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Transfer news: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino coy on transfers

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino refuses to discuss transfer activity ahead of semi-final against Sheffield United.

Andrea Pirlo: Pogba not going back to Manchester United

Andrea Pirlo says that Manchester United must 'live with their mistake' of allowing Paul Pogba to leave because he is never coming back.

Mail Box

The Problem With FA Cup Shocks...

...is that the draw for the next round is pretty shocking. Blackburn v Stoke, anybody? We also have mails on LVG and ManUnited, who drew plenty under Fergie...

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company