Ivorians out to consolidate top spot with Malawi win – Sporting Life
Ivory Coast will be eyeing another win over Malawi when they host them in a 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification Group D match at Stade de l’Amitié in Benin on Monday.
Kick-off is at 6pm CAT (SA, GMT+2).
The Elephants made it two victories in a row in Group D when they thrashed Malawi 3-0 away with Ibrahim Sangare, Max Gradel and Jeremie Boga all scoring for the West African giants on Friday.
The win saw Ivory Coast remain at the top of the group standings – a point above second-placed Cameroon and they will be determined to maintain their lead at the summit with another victory over the Flames.
Patrice Beaumelle, the Ivory Coast head coach, pointed out that their win over Malawi was one of their most difficult games – indicating that they cannot afford to relax ahead of their second meeting in Group D.
“We were very efficient. We produced two completely different halves,” Beaumelle told the media.
“I would like to congratulate my players because they are not used to chasing the ball. This was one of our most difficult matches.”
Meanwhile, Malawi tasted their second defeat in Group D when they were thrashed by a ruthless Ivory Coast side having also lost to Cameroon in their opening match.
The Flames find themselves third on the group standings – four points behind leaders Ivory Coast and they will be hoping to cause an upset by defeating their much-fancied opponents.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) announced that coach Meke Mwase’s side will be without team captain and defender Limibikani Mzava and centre forward Richard Mbulu.
“The Flames have safely arrived in Cotonou, Benin, ahead of Monday’s 2022 Qatar Fifa World Cup Qualifier against Ivory Coast. The players are currently having a Covid test at the airport,” a statement read.
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“The team has travelled without captain Limbikani Mzava who got injured in Friday’s 3-0 loss to the Elephants as well as striker Richard Mbulu who is sick.”
The last time Ivory Coast hosted Malawi in a competitive match was on 29 March 2009.
The Elephants proved too strong for the Flames as they claimed a 5-0 win in the 2010 Fifa World Cup qualifier in Abidjan.
Source: Football News – Sporting Life
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