2023 Africa Cup of Nations hosts Ivory Coast do not have to worry about qualifying but continued their strong form by easing to a 3-1 victory over Comoros in Group H action on Saturday. The Elephants, who are taking part in the qualifying competition as part of their preparation, moved to the top of Group H thanks to goals from Christian Kouamé, Sébastien Haller and Jean-Philippe Krasso before Comoros found a consolation in the final seconds. Ivory Coast are a point ahead at the top of the group while Comoros remain three points back of second placed Zambia.
The Ivorians charged forward from the kickoff and it was an excellent goal that put the Elephants in the lead soon before a half hour elapsed. Ibrahim Sangaré split the Comorian defense with an incredible through pass from deep in the midfield and Kouamé was left with a simple finish past advancing Comoros goalkeeper Salim Ben Boina.
The visitors did well to stay in the match and threatened at times but could not test Ivorian goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangaré throughout the ninety minutes. A special moment arrived for Haller in the 61st minute when the Borussia Dortmund striker, making his first appearance for Les Éléphants since recovering from cancer, rose for a perfect header past Ben Boina from a Wilfried Singo cross to double the Ivorian lead.
Krasso made it three with a simple finish after receiving Ghislain Konan’s cross and the result was secure for the Ivorian team. Ibroihim Youssouf pulled one back for the visitors when his finish just crossed the line but the Comoros team will need to be at their best to earn a result when the teams meet again in Moroni on March 28.
Highlights are below.