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Cranes get 3-0 wake up call from Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast’s Wilfried Bony (L) heads the ball as he is marked by Uganda’s Geoffrey Kizito during the friendly football match between Ivory Coast and Uganda at New York University Stadium in Abu Dhabi on January 11, 2017. PHOTO AFP

International Friendly Result

Uganda 0 Ivory Coast 3

Wilfried Zaha scored his first goal for African champions the Ivory Coast as they trounced Uganda 3-0 Wednesday in a warm-up match for the 2017 Cup of Nations.

The Crystal Palace and former England winger struck with a low shot after a superb solo run during the second half in Abu Dhabi.

Abidjan-born Zaha changed his international allegiance after making two friendly appearances for adopted homeland England.

Footballers who have not played a competitive match for a country are entitled to switch loyalties.

The 24-year-old flier has impressed in two outings for the Cup of Nations title-holders, creating the winner against Sweden during his debut three days ago.

Striker Jonathan Kodjia from English second-tier outfit Aston Villa and Paris Saint-Germain full-back Serge Aurier were the other Ivorian scorers after a goalless first half.

 

TWO OF THE GOALS:

 

Ivory Coast hope to become only the fourth country after Egypt, Ghana and Cameroon to successfully defend the African title when the 2017 tournament kicks off this Saturday in Gabon.

They are in Group C — arguably the toughest of the four mini-leagues — with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco and Togo.

After qualifying for a first appearance at the finals since finishing 1978 runners-up, Uganda tackle record seven-time champions Egypt, Ghana and Mali in Group D.

It is Uganda Cranes’ final game before they fly to Gabon for the Nations Cup final. Uganda is grouped with Ghana, Mali and Egypt.

Starting line-ups: 

UGANDA: Onyango; Iguma, Awany, Wasswa, Ochaya, Mawejje, Kizito, Azira, Luwagga, Miya, Massa

IVORY COAST: Gbohouo; Aurier, Bailly, Kanon, Traoré; Seri, Dié, Kessie; Kalou, Kodjia, Zaha.

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AFCON FACTFILE: Uganda

Qualifying results: Botswana 2-0, 2-1, Comoros 1-0, 1-0; Burkina Faso 0-0, 0-1

Scorers: Khalid Aucho, Geofrey Massa, Tony Mawejje, Farouk Miya, Brian Umony, William Kizito 1 each

Overall record: P16 W3 D1 L12 F17 A31

Best placing: runners-up (1978)

Record win: Morocco 3-0 (1978)

Record loss: Algeria 0-4 (1968)

Africa-world rankings: 18 Africa 72 World

Nickname: Cranes

 

AFCON FACTFILE: Ivory Coast

Qualifying results: Sierra Leone 1-1 home, 0-0 away; Sudan 1-0, 1-1

Scorers: Gervinho, Max-Alain Gradel, Jonathan Kodjia 1 each

Overall record: P87 W39 D22 L26 F129 A94

Best placings: champions (1992, 2015)

Record wins: Ethiopia 6-1 (1970), Guinea 5-0 (2008)

Record losses: Ghana 1-4 (1965), Algeria 0-3 (1990), Cameroon 0-3 (2000), Egypt 1-4 (2008)

Africa-world rankings: 2 Africa 34 World

Nickname: Elephants

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Main report AFP 

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