Ivory Coast wrap up qualifying campaign
Seri Jean Michael of Ivory Coast
Friday Mar 22, 2019. 11:00
Ivory Coast will wrap up their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign when they host Rwanda at the Stade Felix Houphouet Boigny in Abidjan on Saturday, 23 March, kick-off at 19h00 CAT.
The West African heavyweights have already secured progression to the 2019 finals (as have Group H rivals Guinea), meaning the tournament in Egypt will be their 23rd showing at the AFCON finals.
Rwanda, meanwhile, will finish bottom of the log regardless of their result in Abidjan.
Elephants coach Ibrahim Kamara will use this match, and a friendly against Liberia next midweek, as a chance to begin preparing his squad for a continental title bid.
Kamara will be without Wilfried Zaha due to injury, while Gervinho (who has enjoyed a fine season in Serie A with Parma) is another notable absentee.
“I went to see Gervais [Gervinho] in Italy and we discussed a lot of things. But I was very clear today: the list I have just released is based on continuity,” said the coach.
“Because it’s been four-and-a-half months since a group played the playoffs. In both games, it’s about measuring the depth of my group. Gervais has nothing to prove.”
The other Group H match takes place on Sunday and sees Central African Republic host Guinea in Bangui.
The first meeting between Ivory Coast and Rwanda took place in Kigali in September last year and saw the Elephants claim a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Jonathan Kodjia and Max Gradel.