Sebastien Haller starts as Ivory Coast edge closer to Africa Cup of Nations finals



Sebastien Haller and Ivory Coast edged a step closer to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals with a 1-1 draw in Madagascar on Tuesday.

The West Ham United centre-forward made his first start for the Elephants in Antananarivo, having scored on his debut in a 2-1 win over the same opposition as a substitute on Saturday.

This time around, it was AC Milan’s Franck Kessie who scored for the Ivorians, netting from the penalty spot to put his country in front on 15 minutes.

However, Madagascar equalised six minutes into the second half through Ibrahim Amada’s searing strike and the game ended level.

A point each means Ivory Coast sit top of qualifying Group K on seven points, ahead of Madagascar on head-to-head record, with Ethiopia a point behind in third after their 3-0 win over Niger.

With the top two qualifying, Haller and his compatriots will hope to complete the job when they travel to Niger before hosting Ethiopia in March 2021.

The delayed final tournament will take place in Cameroon in early 2022.


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