West African giants Ivory Coast and Nigeria put a foot into the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil after both nations emerged victorious in their World Cup qualifier matches.
The Ivorian Elephants dispatched Senegal 3-1 in Abidjan on Saturday while Nigeria had to come from a goal behind to dismiss a hard-fighting Ethiopia 2-1 in Addis Ababa on Sunday.
A penalty from veteran target man Didier Drogba and an own goal by Senegalese Lamine Sane saw Sabri Lamouchi’s side take a 2-0 first half lead. Former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou put the result of the game beyond doubt with a second half strike. Papiis Cisse riffled in in stoppage time to ensure the Teranga Lions left with an away goal heading into the second leg which will be played in Morocco.
Burkina Faso also put themselves on pole with a 3-2 win over Algeria. Jonathan Pitroipa gave the Burkinabes the lead towards the end of the first half, the Stade Rennais finishing with a lovely header. Sofiane Feghouli tapped in after the restart to draw the Algerians level only for Burkina to take the lead again thanks to Djakaridja Kone’s fine individual effort.
Algeria restored parity barely three minutes later, Carl Medjnai heading home from unmarked position but the North Africans were denied a point from the first leg when Zambian referee Janny Sizakwe handed Burkina a penalty which was tucked home by Aristide Bance.
On Sunday, Nigeria had Emmanuel Emenike to thank after the Fenerbahce forward scored a brace to help the Super Eagles seal an unlikely 2-1 win over Ethiopia. The Walya Antelopes had Nigeria on the back foot for most time in the game and took the lead in the 56th minute through Behalu Assefa. However, Nigeria hit back in the 67th minute with Emenike finding the back of the net with a stunning strike before slotting home a 90th minute penalty to ensure the Super Eagles will travel back home in Calabar with a 2-1 advantage. Tunisia and Cameroon played to an entertaining barren draw in the other qualifier.
And That's thesteifmastertake!!