Striker Sebastian Haller’s double steered Cote d’Ivoire to their first win of the ongoing World Cup qualifiers after overcoming Cameroon 2-1 on Monday evening.
Haller scored in the 20th and 29th minutes as the Elephants cruised to a 2-0 first-half lead at Stade Olympique d’Ebimpe d’Abidjan in the Group D contest.
Cote d’Ivoire’s first goal came from the penalty spot. The visitors, too, earned theirs which Nicolas Ngamaleu converted in the 61st minute.
Going into the match, Cote d’Ivoire coach Patrice Baumelle had rung the changes from the squad that drew 0-0 away in Mozambique last week.
He featured a star-studded line up of Premier League stars Willy Boly (Wolves), Eric Bailly (Manchester United), Sergie Aurier (ex-Tottenham Hot spurs) and ex-West Ham forward Haller.
The Elephants started the race with an away goalless draw against Mozambique whereas Cameroon beat Malawi 2-0.
On the other hand, Cameroon dropped four players from the squad that beat Malawi.
Bayern Munich strikerMaxim Choupo Moting, Toko-Ekambi Karl, Kunde Malong and Mbaizo Olivier started from the bench while paving the way for Zambo, Christian Bassogog, Kunde, Dawa and Collins Fai.
The Ivorians have since moved top of the group on four points from two games, with the Indomitable Lions coming down to second place on three points.
Mozambique and Malawi, who meet on Tuesday in South Africa, are on third and fourth places.
Cote d’Ivoire: Sylvain Gbohouo; Sergie Aurier, Willy Boly, Eric Bailly, Jeremie Boga, Odilon Kossounou, Jean Kouassi, Serey Die, Sebastian Haller, Ibrahim Sangaré, Jean Seri
Cameroon: Epassy Devis, Michel Ngadeu, Duplexe Tchamba, Harold Moukoudi, Joyskim Dawa, Martin Hongla, Pierre Kunde, Andre-Frank Zambo, Nicolas Ngamaleu Moumi, Christian Bassogog, Vincent Aboubakar