Cote d’Ivoire rounded out their Group B account at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in UAE with four points from three games after a simple win against ten-man New Zealand in Abu Dhabi’s Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium. The result puts the goalless and pointless Kiwis on the next flight home while the Ivorians' are through to the knockout rounds (thanks to results later in the night in Group A).
The Africans wasted no time signaling their attacking intent when, after just three minutes, Meite Yakou fired in a thunderous shot form outside that box that was batted away by Kiwi keeper Zac Speedy. Ten minutes after that, the Oceania men had a their own impressive chance to score as Andrew Blake beat two defenders and fired in a shot that was well-saved by Seck Diabagate.
Speedy made another save on Kouame N Guessan near the 20-minute mark and it became clear that Cote d’Ivoire were on the charge. The goal they were threatening came in the 25th minute, Guessan’s low cross picking out Moussa Bakayoko who tapped in from close range. Things only got worse for the Kiwis after that as Nick Forrester earned his second yellow of the game and was promptly given his marching orders.
The ten men of New Zealand couldn’t get anything going in the second half and the Africans weren’t in the mood to let them off the hook. Bakayoko hit home his second goal of the game just three minutes in when he raced to meet Meite Yako’s low cross and hammer it into the back of the net from 12 yards out.
Speedy rescued New Zealand ten minutes later with a diving save on Sherif Jimoh’s powerful effort. From there on out it was all Cote d’Ivoire, and the Africans completed the 3-0 rout three minutes from time when Yakou finished off a fine cross from Franck Kessie. The result leaves the Ivorians facing one of the other group winners in the Round of 16 while New Zealand are heading for home without a point or a goal to show for their time here in UAE.