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Plea inspires Nice to Gladbach victory

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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Toothless Ivory Coast held by Mali in World Cup qualification

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Ivory Coast missed the opportunity to consolidate top spot in African World Cup qualifying Group C as they were held 0-0 by Mali in Bamako on Friday, mathematically confirming the hosts' elimination.

The Elephants, shorn of many of their best players, lacked an offensive threat throughout the contest, and continued their miserable year in which they've won just one competitive fixture.

The draw means the Ivorians end the day in top spot in Group C, but Friday's draw, coupled with their shock 2-1...

Abdoulaye Doucoure may yet be worth the wait for Watford

Due to Watford's significant turnover of players and the club's revolving door policy to recruitment, a series of talents have passed through Vicarage Road in recent seasons without making much of an impact.

Abdoulaye Doucoure, signed from Stade Rennais in February 2016, but immediately sent out on loan to Granada, had looked destined to be yet another anonymous player to come and go at the Hertfordshire outfit without really demonstrating his qualities.

However, when handed his opportunity by new...

Alassane Plea inspires OGC Nice to Gladbach victory

Alassane Plea came off the bench to score one and contribute an assist as OGC Nice came from behind to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 in a friendly in Bavaria on Thursday.

The Franco-Malian attacker was one of the revelations of the Ligue 1 season last term as he adapted to a role leading the line - having previously been used almost exclusively as a right-sided wideman - and ended the campaign with 11 goals in 24 outings.

He notably found the net in a 2-2 draw away at Paris Saint-Germain, and...

Mohamed Sissoko: Ex-Liverpool midfielder to sign for Indonesian side Mitra Kukar

Mohamed Sissoko replaced Eidur Gudjohnsen as Pune's marquee player this season.
Mohamed Sissoko replaced Eidur Gudjohnsen as Pune's marquee player this season.

Indonesian side Mitra Kukar are close to completing the signing of Mali midfielder Mohamed Sissoko, just over a month after he was released by Serie B side Ternana.

The Super Liga outfit will become the ex-Liverpool and Juventus man's third club in less than six months after he parted ways with Indian side Pune City earlier in the season and then had a brief one-game stint in Italy.

The 32-year-old returns to the Far East for a second spell, having previously played 10 matches with Shanghai Shenhua...

FIFA suspends Mali teams because of government interference

Mohamed Salah and Egypt held off Mali on Tuesday.
Mali (in yellow) have been suspended from international football.

FIFA has suspended Mali's teams and officials from international football because of government interference in how the country's federation, Femafoot, is run.

World football's governing body said in a statement that it had decided to act after Mali's sports minister "decided to dissolve the executive committee" of the national federation.

Mali's World Cup qualifying programme will not be immediately affected, with the next match, against Morocco, taking place on Aug. 28.

Both Malian teams in the...