Ivory Coast defeated Sierra Leone’s home-based team 5-1 in a pre-Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) friendly match played at the Stade Laurent Pokou De San Pedro on Saturday.
The Elephants took the lead in the 18th minute through a Ousmane Diomande’s header, and they doubled their advantage in the 36th minute when Franck Kessie scored a fine solo goal. Just before halftime, Jonathan Bamba increased the scoreline to 3-0 in the 38th minute for the hosts.
In the second half, Ivory Coast restored their two-goal cushion in the 48th minute with a goal from Jeremie Boga. Amani Lazare scored the 5-0 goal in the 84th minute, and just before the final whistle, Sierra Leone pulled one back through Rodney Michael Jr in the 86th minute.
The win places host Ivory Coast prominently closer to securing the 34th edition of the Afcon.
Meanwhile, the Afcon showpiece opener takes centre stage on 13th January 2024 between hosts Ivory Coast and Guinea Bissau.
Sierra Leone, on the other hand, gave a pool of youngsters the leeway to showcase themselves, as the country braces up for the 2026 FIFA World Cup Africa qualifiers.
Sierra Leone’s home-based team is billed against African Champions Morocco on the 11th of January at the same venue.