Archives photo Elephants I.Coast (Reuters)

Mozambique and Ivory Coast drew 0-0 in their opening 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – Group D – match at the Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto on Friday afternoon.

The Mambas are scheduled to face Malawi away in their second Group D encounter on Tuesday, while the Elephants will play host to Cameroon on Monday.

Ivory Coast saw most of the ball in the first-half despite being without some of their key players, Serge Aurier, Eric Bailly, Franck Kessie and Maxwel Cornet.

The Elephants played a lot of crosses and long balls for their towering centre forward Sebastien Haller, but the Mambas defence and goalkeeper Ernan dealt well with the aerial balls.

The score was 0-0 during the half-time break in Maputo with Mozambique having contained a dominant Ivory Coast side.

The visitors continued to control the encounter after the restart and they stuck to their game plan with crosses being played in the Mambas’ box from the wings.

Jean Kouassi played a cross from the right flank that found Haller, but the Ajax Amsterdam star could not keep his header on target.

Mozambique coach Horacio Gonçalves introduced attackers Geny Catamo and Novela in the 65th minute as the hosts searched for the opening goal of the match.

However, the last real chance of the game fell for Franck Boli, who connected with a cross from the right, but his effort went inches wide of the Ernan’s right upright with two minutes left.

Ultimately, the match ended in a 0-0 stalemate with Ivory Coast having failed to take their chances on the day.

Mozambique 0 - Ivory Coast 0

Mozambique: Ernan, Zainadine, Reinildo, Norberto, Bruno Langa (Novela 64′), Cigano, Martinho, Miquissone (Geny 64′), Candinho (Nilton 46′), Shaquille, Melque (Canhembe 56′).

Ivory Coast: Gbohouo, Kamara, Kossounou, Diomande, Konan, Die, Maiga (Boga 62′), Sangare, Gradel, J.Kouassi (Boli 62′), Haller (Haller 84′).

African Football