Ivory Coast qualified for the AFCON knockout stages after strolling to a 4-1 win over Namibia in Group D.
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The Ivorian side looked like they were scarcely interested in the game for much of the first half, with Namibia looking by far the more dangerous side.
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With just five minutes of the half remaining, Max Gradel finished with a fine side-footed volley to put his side ahead, and on course for qualification into the knockout stages.
Five minutes later, Wilfried Zaha should have been awarded a penalty, but a VAR-less referee failed to award one.
In the second half, Serey Die made it two when he shot from 40 yards out, beating Lloyd Kazuapa with a late, crucial deflection to seal the victory.
There was late drama when Joslin Kamatuka seized on a defensive error to halve the deficit, before Wilfried Zaha added a late third to calm the nerves, and Maxwell Cornet made it four.
In the group’s other match, a late 1-0 win for Morocco over South Africa saw Morocco qualify top of the table.

Talking point - Which Ivory Coast will show up next?

In the second half they were ruthless in attack, making the most of their chances and skewering a limited Namibia side. If they continue like that, they could win the whole thing, but another showing like the first half and better sides will punish them and leave them no chance in the later stages.

Man of the match - Max Gradel

More might be expected of the big name players like Wilf Bony and Wilfried Zaha, but Max Gradel has carried his best Toulouse form into the tournament in Egypt. He was at the heart of Ivory Coast’s eventual victory.

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

PLAYER RATINGS

Namibia: Kazapua 6; Haoseb 5, Hanamub 5, Horaeb 5, Nyambe 5; Ketjijere 5, Papama 6, Hotto 6, Shalulile 6; Kamatuka 7, Shitembi 6. Subs: Stephanus 6, Shilongo 6.
Ivory Coast: Gbohouo 5; Coulibaly 6, Traoré 6, Mamadou 6, Kanon 6; Gbamin 6, Serey Dié 7, Kessié 7; Zaha 7, Bony 5, Gradel 8. Subs: Cornet 7, Sangare 6, Kodjia 6.

KEY EVENTS

40’ - GOAL! Namibia 0-1 Ivory Coast. Gradel scores - He breaks in behind the defence, lets the ball bounce ahead of him, and with a side-foot he volleys over the 'keeper to put his side ahead.
41’ - PENALTY APPEAL - Haoseb looks to have plainly tripped Zaha in the box after he was spun by the Palace man, but the referee isn't interested. That's the wrong decision, and Ivory Coast should have had a penalty there.
58’ - GOAL! Namibia 0-2 Ivory Coast. Serey Dié scores - The midfielder sees the pitch open up before him, 40 yards out. He lashes a shot towards goal, it takes a deflection along the way, and creeps into the corner.
71’ - GOAL! Namibia 1-2 Ivory Coast. Kamatuka scores - A defensive howler allows Kamatuka to steal in, drive forward into the box, and fire it past Gbohouo, who made the first error with a poor clearance.
83’ - GOAL! Namibia 1-3 Ivory Coast. Zaha scores - Slipped in on the left, in the box, he cuts onto his right and then drills low into the near corner.
87’ - GOAL! Namibia 1-4 Ivory Coast. Cornet scores - The ball breaks to the striker on the right of the box, and he drills in a low shot into the far corner.

KEY STAT

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