2022 World Cup: Max Gradel sets Ivory Coast on road to win over Malawi

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Ivory Coast's Max GradelMax Gradel played for Ivory Coast at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Ivory Coast scored two late goals to secure a 3-0 win over 'hosts' Malawi in a 2022 World Cup qualifier on Friday.

The match was played in the South African city of Johannesburg as Malawi are one of eleven African nations whose stadia do meet meet the requirements to host international games.

The Elephants took the lead in the Group D match seven minutes before half-time through 31-year-old Max Gradel.

The Turkey-based midfielder was set-up by Serge Aurier in his first competitive game since June, the 28-year-old signed for Spanish side Villarreal just four days again after he was released by Tottenham Hotspur in August.

Netherlands-based Ibrahim Sangare doubled the lead in the 85th minute before Sassuolo forward Jeremie Boga completed the win deep into injury time.

The win moves Ivory Coast to seven points and leaves Malawi on three points with Cameroon hosting Mozambique in the other game in the group later on Friday.

The Elephants and Malawi face each other again on Monday in Benin, with Ivory Coast another of the nations forced to play at a neutral venue as their stadia are not up to international requirements, despite being due to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2023.

There are also two Group A games on Friday with African champions Algeria hosting Niger while at the same time Djibouti face Burkina Faso, in the Moroccan city of Marrakech.

The game was moved from Djibouti as they are another nation whose stadia do meet meet the requirements to host international games.

Also on Friday in Group F Gabon have travelled to Angola while seven-times winners Egypt welcome neighbours Libya.

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