Cote d'Ivoire took a step closer to reaching the World Cup next year after a comfortable victory over Senegal in their first leg play-off, but will be disappointed they conceded a late goal which will have taken some of the gloss off the scoreline for the hosts.
Captain Didier Drogba opened the scoring with a penalty in the fifth minute for the winners, and an own goal from Lamine Sane shortly after doubled their advantage.
Salomon Kalou coolly slotted a third just after half-time and, although Papiss Cisse netted an injury-time strike for the losers, Ivory Coast still won well.
They now have the upper hand in their bid to secure a place at next year's showpiece in Brazil, with Senegal to host the second leg on November 16.
Cote d'Ivoire coach Sabri Lamouchi made five changes to the side that drew with Morocco last time out, with Didier Zokora and Sol Bamba headlining the inclusions.
Newcastle striker Cisse – who is Senegal's leading scorer in qualification – returned to the starting line-up for the visitors as one of four changes.
The winners made the perfect start, scoring after just five minutes when Gervinho was upended by Cheikhou Kouyate in the penalty area.
Drogba sent Senegal goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul the wrong way from the spot, and things went from bad to worse for Alain Giresse's side shortly after.
The lively Gervinho, who was a constant threat for the victors, raced away down the left, before aiming a cross at Drogba from the left.
Sane deflected the cross into his own net though, sending a partisan crowd wild as Cote d'Ivoire led 2-0 in less than 15 minutes.
Senegal did enjoy a good spell after, posing some questions for Cote d'Ivoire, but Gervinho should have scored a third six minutes before the break when he raced clear and rounded Coundoul.
Gervinho's effort was blocked by Lamine Gassama though, while Yaya Toure blasted over as the Elephants had to be content with a two-goal lead at half-time.
The third goal did arrive though, with Gervinho setting up Kalou just after the break.
The Lille striker broke the offside trap and then kept his composure, sliding past the advancing Coundoul and into the net.
Yaya Toure almost added a fourth four minutes from time when his shot flashed just past the post before Cisse gave Senegal a late lifeline.
The hosts failed to deal with a long ball pumped into the penalty area and Cisse reacted quickest, smashing past goalkeeper Boubacar Barry in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
The goal gave Senegal some hope, but Cote d'Ivoire left the pitch the happiest after a convincing win.
|G. Serey Die||90+4'|
|Coach: S. Lamouchi|
for S. Kalou 55'
for D. Drogba 77'
for Y. Gervinho 89'
|Robinson joins QPR|
|Mazzarri lauds Kovacic development|
|Townsend eager to get back to full fitness|
|Tottenham 3 AEL 0 (agg 5-1): Spurs cruise into Europa League proper|
|Leicester complete sensational Cambiasso swoop|
|Del Piero confirms move to Indian Super League|
|Hull City 2 Lokeren 1 (agg 2-2): Lokeren progress despite Brady brace|
|Benatia excited to face Roma|
|Inter 6 Stjarnan 0 (agg 9-0): Kovacic treble sees hosts cruise through|
|Championship Preview: Redfearn in charge for Bolton clash, Magath eyes first league win|
|Newcastle United v Crystal Palace: Warnock kicks off second Palace stint|
|Atletico Madrid v Eibar: Champions seek first win|
|Rodgers excited about ´special´ draw|
|Manchester City v Stoke City: Pellegrini could chop and change|
|Warnock has no issues with Puncheon|
|Sacked Hockaday´s tenure at Leeds lasts just six games|
|Palace re-sign Zaha on loan|
|Burnley v Manchester United: Van Gaal hoping to kickstart recovery|
|Ronaldo named Europe´s best|
|Swansea City v West Brom: Monk wants Liberty fortress|
|Cameroon confident DR Congo clash will go ahead|
|West Ham v Southampton: Koeman anticipating physical West Ham challenge|
|Hughes expecting tough City test|
|Holders Real set for Liverpool test|
|Monk targeting two more additions|
|Koeman keen for ´difficult´ transfer window to end|
|Van Basten absent due to health issues|
|League Two Preview: Morecambe chase another win, giant-killers back in action|
|Irvine eyeing another winger|
|Van Gaal confirms more signings to come|
|Barca are constantly improving, says Rakitic|
|Di Maria is not ´the miracle´, says Van Gaal|
|Torres Milan move ´a real possibility´|
|Juventus v Chievo: Allegri begins quest to replicate Conte success|
|League One Preview: MK Dons and Orient aim to follow up historic wins|
|Schalke v Bayern Munich: Benatia in line for debut|
|Pirlo blow for Juve|
|Napoli defender Ghoulam suffers fractured arm|
|QPR v Sunderland: Redknapp desperate for points|
|Everton v Chelsea: Costa absence could prove costly|
|Deschamps makes two changes to France squad|
|Warnock excited by Palace challenge|
|Lambert: Delph deserves England call-up|
|Aguirre names five uncapped players in Japan squad|
|Ki signs new four-year Swansea deal|
|CSL Preview: Lippi returns to dugout, Beijing Guoan host rock-bottom Harbin Yiteng|
|J.League Preview: Yoshida out to keep pressure on Urawa|
|Chambers, Delph, Colback win England call-ups|
|Rooney named new England captain|
|Costa in doubt for Everton trip|
|Ross County sack Adams|
|Platini wants more UEFA representatives at World Cup|
|Allardyce hints at big-name signing|
|Platini will not challenge Blatter for FIFA presidency|
|Bruce convinced of qualification|
|Alonso set to swap Madrid for Munich|
|Pochettino to use MK Dons as an example|
|Champions League difficult for Arsenal - Bilic|
|Redknapp takes aim at ´really poor´ QPR|
|MLS Preview: Timbers braced for ´massive´ clash in Vancouver|
|Los Angeles Galaxy 4 DC United 1: Arena´s side show quality|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: River Plate, Libertad among teams to progress|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Pachuca in seventh heaven, Leon held|
|LDU Quito 3 Deportivo Quito 0: Hosts earn bragging rights against rivals|
|Johnson calm over future|
|Kiessling hails Leverkusen|
|Benitez: Mistakes cost Napoli Champions League spot|
|K. League Preview: Seoul eyeing winning streak|
|Liga MX Preview: Monterrey looking to build momentum|
|Valverde hails ´historic day´ for Bilbao|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Mixed results for Europe´s big guns, Moti the hero for Ludogorets|
|Atletico announce Velazquez capture|
|Giroud set for lengthy absence - Wenger|
|Holders City handed home clash with Wednesday|
|La Liga Preview: Saul not worried by Simeone absence, Barca face tough Villarreal test|
|Eto´o retires from Cameroon duty|
|Aston Villa 0 Leyton Orient 1: Late Vincelot winner sends underdogs through|
|Birmingham City 0 Sunderland 3: Late strikes stun hosts|
|Arsenal 1 Besiktas 0 (1-0 agg): Alexis strike takes Wenger´s men through|
|Stoke City 3 Portsmouth 0: Walters brace sees hosts into League Cup third round|
|Burton Albion 1 QPR 0: Late strike seals upset for fourth-tier hosts|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Bordeaux look to maintain 100 per cent start|
|Dunga: No one guaranteed a place in Brazil squad|
|Serie A Preview: Juve´s Allegri era starts at Chievo|
|Mazzarri calls for professional Inter|
|Utrecht swoop for Peterson|
|Deeney extends Watford stay|
|Alonso calls time on international career|
|Bundesliga Preview: Schalke captain Howedes issues rallying cry, Leverkusen face Hertha|
|Fazio joins Spurs from Sevilla|
|Warnock will control transfers - Parish|
|Pochettino wants Soldado and Townsend to stay at Spurs|
|Augsburg v Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller returns for wobbling visitors|
|Celtic complete Wakaso deal|
|Seoul 0 Pohang Steelers 0 (aet, 3-0 on penalties): Yu heroics send Seoul through|
|Guangzhou Evergrande 2 Western Sydney Wanderers 1: Wanderers squeeze through on away goals|
|I´m the future, Benatia´s the past - Manolas|
|Osotspa 3 Chiangrai United 3: Visitors secure point with late rally|
|Israel versus Belgium fixture postponed|
|Fernandes reveals Redknapp contract talks|
|Warnock makes Palace return|
|Eto´o grateful to Mourinho|
|Maiga loaned to Metz|
|Pearson rues ´poor´ Leicester display|
|Bruce: Rhodes deal dead and buried|
|Balotelli set to face Tottenham|
|Di Maria wanted Real stay|
|Dyche wary of inflated transfer market|
|Celtic didn´t deserve Champions League, concedes Deila|
|Game of two halves for Koeman|
|Allardyce hails ´inspired´ Howard|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Red Bulls up and running, Rodriguez stars for Saprissa|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: Gimenez double helps Emelec through|
|Eredivisie Preview: Guardado set for PSV bow, Ajax eye recovery|
|Van Gaal ´not shocked´ by Dons defeat|
|Deila: Celtic deserved Champions League exit|
|Barca agree deal for Pereira|
|Lopetegui lauds Porto progression|
|League Cup Review: United hammered by MK Dons, West Ham lose on penalties|
|West Brom 1 Oxford United 1 (aet, 7-6 on penalties): Hosts avoid cup shock|
|Manchester United win ´something dreams are made of´ - Robinson|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Celtic out again, Porto safely through|