Ivory Coast names strong squad for Rwanda tie

Amavubi head coach Vincent Mashami gives instructions to his players during training at Kigali Stadium. Sam Ngendahimana.

September 9

Rwanda Vs Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast has named a star-studded team ahead of the 2019 AFCON Qualifier against Rwanda which will be played on September 9 at Kigali Stadium, in Nyamirambo.

Manchester United centre back Eric Bailly and Tottenham’s Serge Aurier have been named in a 23-man squad by Ivorian coach Kamara Ibrahim to face Rwanda in a Group H Afcon clash.

Other big names are Die Serey (FC Basel/Swiss), Franck Kessie (Milan AC/Italy), Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa/ England) and Max Gradel (Toulouse/France).

However Ivory Coast is without several stars such as Yaya Toure, who is yet to secure a professional club, and Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha, who is absent due to personal reasons.

Vincent Mashami’s Amavubi are aiming to qualify for next year’s continental tournament, which will be held in Cameroon, for the first time since the 2004 edition in Tunisia.

Gervinho (freshly transferred to Parma), Salomon Kalou, Wilfried Bony, Seydou Doumbia and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are the other key players who were not summoned due to injuries and inactivity.

The Elephants coach Kamara, who was appointed recently, will be seeking to secure maximum points against Rwanda following their 2-3 loss to Guinea in their first home match in June last year.

Meanwhile, Amavubi have intensified preparations for the game as they want to secure a good result against the former African champions.

The team trains twice a day at Kigali Stadium.

While Ivorians started with a home defeat, Rwanda also got off to wrong footing in the group campaign losing 2-1 at the hands of the Republic of Central Africa in Bangui.

Cote d’Ivoire’s 23-man Squad:

Goalkeepers: Sayouba Mande (OB/Danemark), Badra Ali (Free State Stars/South Africa), Gbohouo Sylvain (TP Mazembe/DRC)

Defenders: Eric Bailly (Man United/England), Serge Aurier (Tottenham/England), Kanon Wilfried ( ADO Den Haag/ Holland), Traoré Adama (Göztepe/Turkey), Kone Lamine (Strasbourg/France) and Ghislain Konan (Stade de Reims/France)

Midfielders: Serey Die (FC Basel/Swiss), Ahoulou Eudes (Monaco/France), Franck Kessie (Milan AC/Italy), Seri Jean Michaël (Fulham/England), Doukouré Cheick (Levante/Spain) and Serge N’Guessan (Nancy/France)

Forwards: Kodjia Jonathan (Aston Villa/ England), Assale Roger (Young Boys/Swiss), Pépé Nicolas (Lille/France), Max Gradel (Toulouse/France), Bayo Vakoun (Dunajská Streda/Slovaquia) and Maxwel Cornet (Lyon/France).

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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