Cornet and Ivory Coast conclude Africa Cup of Nations qualification with Lesotho win

Cornet and Ivory Coast conclude Africa Cup of Nations qualification with Lesotho win
Cornet and Ivory Coast conclude Africa Cup of Nations qualification with Lesotho win

Africa-Press – Lesotho. Maxwel Cornet was included in the starting XI for Ivory Coast as the international side concluded their Africa Cup of Nations Group H qualification campaign with a 1-0 win over Lesotho.

As hosts of the tournament in January 2024, Ivory Coast’s spot at the competition finals had already been guaranteed, allowing Les Éléphants to experiment with their side and tactics throughout the group qualification matches.

Head coach Jean-Louis Gasset deployed a 3-4-2-1 formation for Saturday’s home clash with Lesotho, with Hammers forward Cornet utilised in the left wing-back position at Stade Laurent Pokou in his first start for the national side since a win away to Togo last September.

It only took Ivory Coast 16 minutes to open the scoring with former Hammer Sébastien Haller involved. who laid the ball off for midfielder Ibrahim Sangaré inside the penalty area.

The new Nottingham Forest signing took a touch onto his left foot before coolly slotting in what would be the only goal of the game. It was a game the home side dominated, registering 75 per cent of the possession and limiting Lesotho to only one shot, which was off-target.

Maxwel Cornet Cornet played 69 minutes of the fixture before making way in Ivory Coast’s first substitution of the match, replaced by Jonathan Bamba of Celta Vigo.

The win means Ivory Coast finish their Group H matches with four wins from six games played, earning 13 points. At Academy level, Sean Moore started for Republic of Ireland U19s in their 1-1 friendly draw away to Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The Hammers youngster looked particularly lively on the left-flank for his side in Saturday’s outing, with the Irish youngsters taking the lead through Mark O’Mahony’s well-placed header early in the second-half.

While the visitors looking reasonably comfortable, the hosts equalised with a stunning finish on 75 minutes when captain Niko Kovac found the top corner from 20 yards.

Elsewhere, Nayef Aguerd and Morocco were due to participate in their final qualification fixture on Saturday evening, but the Group K match with Liberia has been postponed because of the devastating earthquake that has struck the country. The thoughts of everyone at West Ham United are with Nayef and the people of Morocco at this difficult time.

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