Ivory Coast defeated Gambia 3-0 in African World Cup qualifying on Saturday to extend their lead at the top of CAF Group C.
Gambia, still looking for their first victory of the qualifying campaign, kept their hosts goalless throughout the first 45 minutes at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan.
Long-serving captain Didier Drogba was conspicuous through his absence after the Galatasaray striker was surprisingly overlooked from the Ivory Coast squad by coach Sabri Lamouchi.
And without their talisman, the hosts struggled to break down a stubborn Gambia backline.
Arsenal foward Gervinho worked tirelessly in the final third, initially without reward.
It was Vitesse star Wilfried Bony - top scorer in the Eredivisie this season - who eventually broke the deadlock, netting from the penalty spot in the 49th minute following a foul on Yaya Toure.
Gambia goalkeeper Allen Christopher produced a series of impressive saves to keep the margin to just one goal.
But the away team's resistance eventually faltered, Manchester City midfielder Toure doubling Ivory Coast's lead with a headed goal just before the hour mark.
Lille striker Salomon Kalou put the outcome beyond doubt when he added a third goal with 20 minutes remaining, finishing off the good work of Gervinho.
The win was Ivory Coast's second from three matches played in qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and sees them top the group by four points from Tanzania, who are in action against third-placed Morocco on Sunday.
Gambia meanwhile are bottom of the standings with just one point from three outings.