The Ivorian Elephants were unsuccessful on Thursday, June 9, against Lesotho in the second day of the CAN 2023 qualifiers (Group H). Despite dominating at all times, they did not find their way to the net (0-0).
Côte d’Ivoire takes over the group H alone. This is the optimistic view of the situation in these Africa Cup of Nations 2023. However, the Ivorians and their supporters may have some regrets on June 9, after the draw against Lesotho at the end of the second day of the group stage.
At the Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Lesotho team welcomed Jean-Louis Gasset’s men in front of almost empty stands. This relocated match with very little assistance did not prevent Côte d’Ivoire from settling quickly in the match. With captain Serge Aurier on the right wing, Jean Michael Seri in midfield and an offensive quartet of Max-Alain Gradel, Jean Evrard Kouassi, Wilfried Zaha and Christian Kouamé, the visitors had serious arguments to make.
Yet they never managed to force the lock in the defense of the Likuena (Crocodiles). However, it is not because of trying! Elephants enjoyed most of the ball, as they maintained 86 percent of possession. And 16 times they tried to shake the nets. But they showed far too much address-level rubbish to hope to win, especially since the Lesotho rearguard was admirable, especially goalkeeper Sekhoane Moerane, who made seven saves. Lesotho’s last rampart was still vigilant in the final minutes to come out effectively at Aurier’s feet.
In the standings, this draw allows Côte d’Ivoire to be alone at the top of Group H (4 points) ahead of Zambia (3 points), Comoros (3 points) and Lesotho (1 point). Upcoming appointments: Côte d’Ivoire-Comoros and Zambia-Lesotho in September.