2022 World Cup: Ivory Coast and Cameroon both win in the race for play-off place

Wins for Cameroon and Ivory Coast leave them as the only two left in the race for the lone World Cup play-off place from Group D of African qualifying.

Cameroon shrugged off a delayed arrival in Morocco to beat Mozambique 1-0 with Centre-back Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui heading home the winner in the 68th minute as the keeper’s attempted punch clear fell to him.

 

Logistical issues had caused delays leaving Douala, which meant the Cameroon squad only landed in Tangier less than 12 hours before kick-off.

However it was Ivory Coast who retained top place in the group with a 2-1 win over Malawi in Cotonou, Benin.

The Elephants opened the scoring after just two minutes through Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe, with South Africa-based Khuda Muyaba equalising 18 minutes later for the Flames.

Ivory Coast and AC Milan’s Franck Kessie
Franck Kessie sealed the win for Ivory Coast over Malawi from the penalty spot
AC Milan’s Franck Kessie secured the three points for Ivory Coast when he scored from the penalty spot in the 66th minute.

The defeats for Mozambique and Malawi mean neither side can qualify for the World Cup.

Ivory Coast top the group on 10 points just one ahead of the Indomitable Lions going into the final two qualifiers in November, with the final tie a potential winner takes all between the two in Cameroon.

Only the group winners will reach next March’s play-offs, where Africa’s five representatives in Qatar will be decided.

Mozambique and Ivory Coast are among 11 countries who have been ordered by the Caf to play home games on neutral soil because local stadia are unfit for use.

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