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Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco draw in friendly

 Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco played to a 1-1 draw in their international friendly played at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan on Saturday.

The Elephants’ Sebastian Haller put the home side ahead late in the first half, but the Atlas Lions struck back via Ayoub El Kaabi late in the second, as the teams played to a stalemate in preparation for both the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations – which will be staged in the Ivory Coast in early 2024.

Through in the first half, Morocco enjoyed more of the ball but it was the Ivorians= who were the more penetrative team in attack, using the pace and power of Jonathan Bamba and Sebastien Haller to stretch the visitors’ defence.

The Elephants forced Atlas Lions goalkeeper, Yassine ‘Bono’ Bounou, into several saves through the first 45 minutes, but finally had the beating of him in injury time before the interval, as Bamba led a swift counter attack before playing a perfectly-weighted pass for Haller, who provided an elegant finish for 1-0.

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The second stanza continued in a similar vein to the first, with the North African side seeing plenty of the ball.

However, Morocco levelled the game in the 81st minute via substitute, Ayoub El Kaabi, who latched onto a poor touch from Ivory Coast’s Abakar Sylla in his own penalty area and squeezed a shot past goalkeeper, Yahia Fofana, to make it 1-1. –Supersport

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