Both Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso had difficult matches at home to start the playoff round in the African qualifiers towards the World Cup next year in Brazil as they faced Senegal and Algeria respectively. The fans’ support, however, ended up being key as the two teams were able to end their games on top, taking giant leaps towards World Cup berths for next year’s tournament.
The Orange Elephants were considered favorites against Senegal, although they needed to take some precautions as the visitors had some dangerous players up front, most notably Moussa Sow and Papiss Cisse. Ivory Coast, however, had an excellent performance where they dominated from start to finish to get past the challenge of the Lions of Teranga by a two-goal margin.
Didier Drogba, an own goal from Salif Sane and a second-half strike from Salomon Kalou were enough to give them the edge in the match played in Abidjan.
Burkina Faso and Algeria, on the other hand, set up a thriller where the current African Cup finalists were able to come out on top thanks to the support of their fans. The Algerian side were considered favorites as their team has much more experience, but that didn’t seem to matter against the Stallions, who ended up winning the game thanks to a late goal from Aristide Bance, who netted from the penalty spot with less than five minutes left on the clock.
Nothing is set on stone though, as there’s still one game remaining and both Algeria and Senegal will play at home, where they will try to turn the tables in their last chance to participate in the World Cup next year. The second leg of the African qualifiers playoff will be played on November this year.