Published By: Siddarth Sriram
Last Updated: November 18, 2023, 10:21 IST
Ivory Coast crushed Seychelles 9-0 in Abidjan on Friday to create a record winning margin for a World Cup qualifier in Africa.
Borussia Dortmund forward Sebastien Haller started the goal rush on 20 minutes and Karim Konate from Salzburg completed it five minutes into added time.
Konate and Hamed Traore scored two goals each and Haller, Ibrahim Sangare, Simon Adingra, Seko Fofana and Jean-Philippe Krasso one apiece in the matchday one Group F mismatch.
FT: Ivory Coast 9-0 Seychelles ⚽️ Haller 20’ (p)⚽️ Sangare 24’⚽️ Adingra 36’⚽️ Konate 40’ (p)⚽️ Fofana 61’⚽️ Traore 72’⚽️ Krasso 84’ (p)⚽️ Traore 90+4’⚽️ Konate 90+6’
Hosts mean business. pic.twitter.com/Sfv8KVo3qf
— Dean Ammi (@AlgerianFooty) November 17, 2023
Follow all the action from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 including the World Cup schedule, World Cup 2023 results, and ICC Cricket World Cup points table. Players are vying to top the World Cup 2023 Most Runs and World Cup 2023 Most Wickets charts.
Seychelles, a tourist destination off the east coast of Africa, are 195th in the FIFA rankings, 121 places below the Ivory Coast.
The seedings for the first round of 2026 World Cup qualifying in Africa meant the nine top-ranked teams were paired at home against the nine bottom ones, so it was almost inevitable that there could be some one-sided matches.
Egypt put six past Djibouti on Thursday in Group A with Liverpool star Mohamed Salah netting four times.
Before the Abidjan goal deluge, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Algeria shared the record with eight-goal winning margins.
While the Ivorians scored freely, fellow west Africans Ghana had to wait 96 minutes before Inaki Williams snatched the goal that earned a 1-0 win against Madagascar in Group I.
The Bilbao forward possibly saved the job of under-fire Ghana coach Chris Hughton by heading a Gideon Mensah cross past goalkeeper Melvin Adrien in Kumasi.
“This goal is very dear to me because my family was in the stadium,” said Spain-born Williams after scoring his first for the country of his parents.
: This is what Inaki Williams’ first goal for the Black Stars meant to him, the fans, his fellow teammates and the technical staff.Fans at the Baba Yara Stadium sang his name by the way. Such a wonderful feeling ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/aPRq7WvM3N
— Bortey (@joelbortey) November 17, 2023
READ: Inaki Williams’ Debut Goal Gives Ghana Winning Start To World Cup Qualifying
Tunisia, who have qualified six times for the global showpiece, also won comfortably at home, beating Sao Tome e Principe 4-0 in Group H in Rades.
Zambia continued a revival under former Chelsea manager Avram Grant with second-half goals from Fashion Sakala and Patson Daka delivering a 4-2 Group E win over Congo Brazzaville in Ndola.
Burkina Faso, who hope to challenge Egypt for the first place and automatic qualification for the 2026 finals from Group A, suffered a setback when held 1-1 by Guinea-Bissau.
Reigning African champions Senegal and South Africa are among the teams in action on Saturday, when the 26-fixture first round ends. Matchday two begins on Sunday.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)