Abidjan (AFP) – In-form Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha was recalled by the Ivory Coast on Thursday for their upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against the Central African Republic.
The 25-year-old, capped twice by England before swapping allegiance to the Elephants, missed the win over Rwanda last month for “personal reasons”.
Zaha has scored three goals in six Premier League matches this season, but has never netted in a competitive international.
Ivory Coast head coach Ibrahim Kamara also gave a first call-up to Chelsea academy goalkeeper Nicolas Tie and handed a return to Toulouse midfielder Ibrahim Sangare.
Back-to-back wins against the Central African Republic would all but secure a spot at next year’s Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon for the Ivorians, who trail early Group H leaders Guinea by three points, with the top two to qualify.
Ivory Coast squad
Goalkeeper: Ali Badra Sangare (Free State Stars/RSA)), Sylvain Gbohouo (TP Mazembe/COD), Abdoul Karim Cisse (ASEC Mimosas), Nicolas Tie (Chelsea/ENG)
Defenders: Serge Aurier (Tottenham/ENG), Eric Bailly (Manchester United/ENG), Mamadou Bagayoko (Mechelen/BEL), Ghislain Konan (Reims/FRA), Adama Traore (Goztepe/TUR), Kouadio-Yves Dabila (Lille/FRA), Wilfried Kanon (ADO Den Haag/NED), Ismael Traore (Angers/FRA)
Midfielders: Ibrahim Sangare (Toulouse FC/FRA), Jean Michael Seri (Fulham/ENG), Cheick Doukoure (Levante/ESP), Franck Kessie (AC Milan/ITA) Serey Die (FC Basel/SUI), Victorien Angban (Metz/FRA)
Forwards: Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa/ENG), Roger Assale (Young Boys Bern/SUI), Nicolas Pepe (Lille/FRA), Max-Alain Gradel (Toulouse/FRA), Vakoun Bayo (Dunajska Streda/SVK), Maxwel Cornet (Lyon/FRA), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace/ENG)
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