England confirm Ivory Coast friendly in March

The Three Lions will use the encounter in the upcoming Fifa break to prepare for World Cup in Qatar.

England have confirmed they will face Ivory Coast in a friendly game during the March international break.

This will be the second friendly game for the Three Lions as they are also scheduled to play Switzerland in that month. Ivory Coast are currently participating in the Africa Cup of Nations finals and have progressed to the Round of 16 – where they will play Egypt – after topping their group.

After a dominant show against the reigning Afcon champions Algeria on Thursday, Ivory Coats secured a rather smooth passage to the knockout phase courtesy of goals from Franck Yannick Kessie, Ibrahim Sangare, and Nicolas Pepe in Douala.

“England men’s senior team will complete their March 2022 schedule with a fixture against Ivory Coast at Wembley Stadium,” England confirmed on Friday.

“The match against the two-time African champions on Tuesday, March 29, 2021, will be the first meeting between the two nations at the senior level.

“The Ivorians are currently competing in the rescheduled 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, their ninth successive continental finals.

“Their maiden visit to Wembley will present an important test for the Three Lions on the road to this year’s 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar. It will be the first time that Gareth Southgate’s squad have faced non-European opposition since November 2018.”

The friendly will be the Elephants’ first visit to London’s famous football stadium and England’s first game against an opponent from outside the Uefa region since November 2018, when they played and defeated the USA 3-0.

While England will be using the friendly as part of their World Cup preparation, Ivory Coast failed to qualify for the global bonanza after they ended up second in their group behind Cameroon.

England and Ivory Coast have met before, but only at youth level. They faced off in the Maurice Revello tournament in Toulon both in 2015 and 2017.

In 2015, England won 2-1 before the 2017 final match, when the Young Lions again emerged as title winners of the tournament after a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 full-time draw.


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