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Not all doom and gloom in Black Stars' World Cup failure


Ivory Coast cruise, Algeria lose

Ivory Coast took a healthy advantage into the next game with Senegal after winning the first leg of their African World Cup playoff on Saturday 3-1.

Didier Drogba led from the front and scored within five minutes from the spot.
Didier Drogba led from the front and scored within five minutes from the spot.

Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba opened the scoring in the fifth minute by neatly converting a penalty after a trip on Gervinho, and the hosts were two up on 12 minutes when Bordeaux defender Ludovic Sane inadvertently directed the ball past his own goalkeeper from Gervinho's cross.

Roma forward Gervinho was again the provider when Salomon Kalou made it 3-0 within four minutes of the restart, the Lille striker bursting through the middle and coolly slotting a low shot home for his 22nd international goal.

That looked to have put the Ivorians firmly in the driving seat to qualify for a third straight World Cup finals, but Papiss Cisse volleyed home deep into stoppage time to give Senegal hope heading into next month's second leg in Casablanca.

In the day's other game, Burkina Faso striker Aristide Bance fired home a controversial penalty four minutes from time to secure a 3-2 away win over Algeria in Ouagadougou.

Algeria defender Essaid Belkalem was penalised for a handball in the 86th minute, although replays showed that the award was harsh, and Bance stepped up to hammer home.

Bance had earlier missed a spotkick when Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi denied him, but Jonathan Pitroipa then gave Burkina Faso the lead in the final few moments of the first half.

Sofiane Feghouli slotted home from inside the area soon after the break to level the scores, but the Burkinabe were back in front when Djakaridja Kone's 65th minute effort found the net. Algeria hit back once more as former Liverpool defender Carl Medjani headed home a corner four minutes later and could not make the host of a host of chances before Bance gave Burkina Faso a slender advantage late on.

On Sunday, Ethiopia host Nigeria and Tunisia welcome Cameroon, before Ghana play Egypt in Kumasi on Tuesday.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.


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