Ivory Coast's Salomon Kalou (Photo: AP)
Ivory Coast managed to come up with a much-needed comprehensive win over Sierra Leone, thrashing the African minnows 5-1 to blow the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying race in Group D wide open.
Even though Sierra Leone were initially due to host the fixture, it was the Ivorians who enjoyed home support instead, with the match being staged in Abidjan due to the outbreak of Ebola virus at their West African counterparts.
And it didn't take the Elephants too long to open the scoring, with Liverpool center-back Kolo Toure, who has been called up despite hanging up his international boots, giving his side the lead after just eight minutes.
Ex-Arsenal defender Toure, however, had to see his goal cancelled out by Mustapha Bangura in the 25th minute as both teams headed into the dressing rooms on 1-1.
But a goal feast was to follow after the break, with former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou bagging a double either side of goals from Max-Alain Gradel and Gervinho.
The victory took Ivory Coast from third place to second on nine points, temporarily dislodging second-placed DR Congo – who will be eyeing a positive result when they visit leaders Cameroon a day later.
Drogba and co. will be relying on their home advantage when they host four-time African champions Cameroon in the ultimate game in their bid to seal a place in the upcoming African finals in Equatorial Guinea.
The final round will also see DR Congo entertain rock bottom Sierra Leone.
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