The Ivory Coast had dominated most of the first leg of their World Cup qualifying playoff series against Senegal and deservedly won the match by a score of 3-1.
Captain Didier Drogba hit home a fifth-minute penalty to open the scoring before Gervinho‘s cross was deflected in just minutes later. In the 49th minute, Saloman Kalou netted the third and final goal of the night for the home nation. After many missed chances and decent saves from the opposing keeper, Senegal finally hit home their lone goal in the final minute when Papiss Cisse headed home from close range.
Now, the Senegalese have something to smile about ahead of next month’s return leg in Casablanca, Morroco as a 2-0 victory would send them through to Brazil next Summer. The only disadvantage is that they will be unable to play this match on home ground due to a recent disruption by their fans.
The Ivory Coast can leave Morocco with a win, but a margin of two goals seems a bit unlikely as the Senegalese will be playing for their World Cup lives. This will be a much harder task than the one that was on hand today. Both nations have a set of true talent that can all make or break games on any given day.
Prediction: Senegal 2 — Ivory Coast 1
A slow start by the visitors will turn around after the half-time interval, which will finally lead to the one goal that they need to guarantee their spot in the Finals.