A comprehensive win keeps Ivory Coast in with a shout of making the knock-out round.
Ivory Coast ease to victory as the round of 16 remains in sight
Ivory Coast 3
Bakayoko 25’, 48’, Yakou 87’
New Zealand 0
Man of the match: Moussa Bakayoko (Ivory Coast)
ABU DHABI // Ivory Coast eased to a 3-0 victory over New Zealand and with four points seem likely to be one of the four third-place teams to advance to the knock-out round in the U17 World Cup.
Uruguay won Group B on seven points, and Italy were second with six.
Moussa Bakayoko scored on either side of half time and Meite Yakou added a third three minutes from time at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Wednesday.
Kouame Guessan sent a low cross between Zac Speedy, the New Zealand goalkeeper, and a couple of players and Bakayoko, unmarked on the far post, tapped in.
Speedy had made two excellent saves to deny Ivory Coast from scoring early in the game. He held a curling effort from Yakou from the edge of the box and did well to push out a stinging shot towards the top corner from Bakayoko.
Things only got worse for the Kiwis after that as Nick Forrester, who had been booked after just two minutes, earned his second yellow 32 minutes later and was sent off.
Ivory Coast doubled the lead three minutes after the break when Yakou worked down the left side of the box before slipping out a back pass to Bakayoko to score his second of the match. Yakou rounded off the African nation’s first win in the UAE by heading a cross from Franck Kessie, the captain.
“We were a goal down and with one player less it became too difficult for us,” said Darren Bazeley, the New Zealand coach.
Ibrahima Kamara, the Ivory Coast coach, was hopeful his team could progress to the round of 16.
“We achieved our objective of winning the game and now we wait for the outcome of the other games to learn if we have progressed to the next stage,” he said.
“For us, it has been a learning curve in every game. The players have started to believe in themselves after the defeat to Italy in the opening game. So we’ll wait and see what’s next for us.”
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