The Ivory Coast continued their impressive start to the World Cup qualifiers with a 2-0 victory over the Gambia on Monday. They were one of five countries to achieve away success in group matches, joining Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, and Madagascar.
Ivory Coast’s goals from Christian Kouame and Seko Fofana secured the win in Dar-es-Salaam, where Gambia hosted the game due to their own stadia being deemed unfit for international matches. In contrast, Kenya went on the offensive against the Seychelles in Abidjan and won 5-0, with Michael Olunga scoring twice in the opening six minutes.
Equatorial Guinea’s captain Emilio Nsue netted the only goal in their match away to 10-man Liberia. Guinea Bissau’s win against Djibouti was secured by Swiss-based striker Mauro Rodrigues, while Madagascar won 3-0 against Chad. Mali and the Central African Republic had a close encounter at home, with Kamory Doumbia giving Mali a lead before Geoffrey Kondogbia equalized for the Central African Republic.
Only group winners advance to the 2026 finals in Canada, Mexico, and the US, with four best placed runners up getting a chance for a berth via two playoff tournaments. On Tuesday, there will be another 15 qualifiers that include Morocco who were semi-finalists at last year’s World Cup in Qatar. They will visit Tanzania in Dar-es-Salaam in Group E.