Cote d'Ivoire seals late win in AFCON qualifiers

Wilfried Bony was on target for Cote d'Ivoire (Getty Images)

Cote d'Ivoire earned a dramatic win over Congo DR in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier while Nigeria slumped to a lacklustre defeat against Sudan.

Max Gradel's late goal secured a hard-fought 2-1 triumph for Cote d'Ivoire in its latest Cup of Nations qualifier.

Herve Renard's side had suffered a humiliating 4-1 defeat to Cameroon last time out, but got back on track in Group D by claiming three points in Kinshasa.

Wilfried Bony failed to convert an early penalty after a foul on Yaya Toure, but the Swansea City forward soon made amends by glancing home the opener from Serge Aurier's cross.

The host pushed hard to restore parity and was rewarded for its efforts when Evian defender Cedric Mongongu scored a 71st-minute spot-kick.

However, it was St Etienne winger Gradel who had the final say, striking the winner with just seven minutes remaining.

Elsewhere in Group D, leader Cameroon saw its 100 per cent record come to an end with a 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone.

Pressure is mounting on Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi after his side suffered a 1-0 loss to Sudan in Khartoum.

Bakri Abdelgadir's powerful 41st-minute header – Sudan's maiden goal in this qualifying campaign - was enough to seal a shock success for the host.

Keshi's reigning African champion was devoid of ideas going forward and failed to break down a stubborn Sudan defence, although John Obi Mikel did have a goal chalked off for offside.

The sides meet again next week, with Nigeria now propping up Group A.

South Africa beat Congo 2-0 in the pool's other match, thanks to goals from Bongani Ndulula and Tokelo Rantie.

Ibrahima Traore's wonderful goal 10 minutes from time earned Guinea a 1-1 draw with Ghana in Group E.

Asamoah Gyan had given Ghana the lead in the 26th minute of a match played in Morocco due to the Ebola crisis, but Traore levelled to claim a deserved point for Guinea.

Togo ran out a 1-0 winner over Uganda to claim its first points.

In Group B, Algeria is on the verge of sealing its place in next year's competition after maintaining its perfect record with a 2-0 triumph over Malawi.

A win in the return fixture at home next week will see the North African nation qualify with two games to spare.

Group B's other encounter saw Mali run out a 2-0 victor against Ethiopia, which is yet to get off the mark.

In-form Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on target for Gabon as it secured a 2-0 win against Burkina Faso, runner-up in the last Cup of Nations, to move top of Group C.

Zambia, champion in 2012, was held to a goalless stalemate by Niger in Group F, while Mozambique defeated the previously unbeaten Cape Verde Islands 2-0.

Source Omnisport