Skip to main content

Ivory Coast close to qualifying for Brazil after beating Senegal

updated 5:10 PM EDT, Sat October 12, 2013
Gervinho, left, disappointed for Arsenal but he has flourished at Roma and led the Ivory Coast to a win against Senegal.
Gervinho, left, disappointed for Arsenal but he has flourished at Roma and led the Ivory Coast to a win against Senegal.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ivory Coast beats Senegal 3-1 in the first leg of their football playoff in Africa
  • Papiss Cisse's goal well into injury time gives Senegal some hope in the return leg
  • The second leg will be played in Morocco because of a stadium ban in Senegal
  • Burkina Faso edged Algeria 3-2 in the other playoff first leg contested Saturday

(CNN) -- Gervinho's unsuccessful spell at Arsenal came to an end last summer when he was sold to Roma.

The winger is now flourishing in Serie A and carried over his form to the international stage Saturday as he led the Ivory Coast to a 3-1 win over Senegal in the first leg of their playoff tie.

He played a role in all three goals in Abidjan, earning a penalty that Didier Drogba converted in the fifth minute.

His good ball led to an own goal in the 14th minute and he assisted on Salomon Kalou's effort that made it 3-0 in the 50th.

But Papiss Cisse's goal deep into injury time left Senegal with slight hope of appearing at the World Cup for the first time since bursting onto the scene in 2002.

Senegal, however, won't have full home-field advantage in the return leg, playing next month's match in Morocco because of a stadium ban in Dakar.

The ban was imposed after an African Cup of Nations qualifier between Senegal and the Ivory Coast last year was cut short due to crowd trouble.

The winner of the tie earns a place at next year's World Cup in Brazil and the Ivory Coast -- which lined up in Germany in 2006 and South Africa in 2010 -- will be expected to complete the job.

There was controversy in the other African playoff contested Saturday.

Burkina Faso, which has never featured at the World Cup, converted a late penalty to edge visitor Algeria 3-2.

To the disbelief of the Algerians, Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe awarded the spot kick for Essaid Belkalem's handball, which didn't appear to be deliberate.

Algerian players protested but the call stood and Aristide Bancé -- who missed a penalty in the first half -- broke the deadlock in the 86th minute.

Algeria had twice come back in Ouagadougou.

On Sunday, Ethiopia hosts Nigeria and Tunisia entertains Cameroon. Egypt visits Ghana on Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
updated 11:04 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
updated 11:19 AM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
updated 9:18 AM EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:03 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT