Ivory Coast secure AFCON final berthfrom JEAN OSCAR-PIERRE in Bata, Equatorial Guinea
BATA,(CAJ News) – FAVOURITES Ivory Coast have qualified for the final of the Africa Cup of Nations following a 3-1 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The exciting match was played at the Estadio de Bata in the Equatorial Guinea capital city on Wednesday evening.
The DRC were first off the blocks with Ivoirian ‘keeper Sylvain Gbohouo producing a double save to keep out Jeremy Bokila and Dieumerci Mbokani in the sixth minute.
However, it was the West Africans that would open the scoring with a trademark Yaya Toure thunderbolt in the 21st minute- his first goal of the tournament.
Lurking inside the D-Area, the reigning continental Footballer of the Year met a loose ball with a powerful connection that gave diving opposition captain and goalminder Robert Kidiaba no chance.
But the celebrations were short-lived as a handling offence at the other end handed the underdogs a lifeline.
Upstepped the dangerous Mbokani to coolly snatch the equaliser from the penalty spot albeit Gbohouo diving the right way.
The remainder of the half was an end-to-affair that had the Estadio de Bata crowd on the edge of their seats but it was Ivory Coast bad boy-turned-match-winner attacker, Gervinho, who capitalised on wayward passing by the Congolese to round off a counter-attacking move to curl the ball beyond a badly-exposed Kidiaba in the 41st.
His effort cleared off the line and a timely tackle thwarting his efforts sandwiched the goal as Ivoirians.
The second stanza had the Congolese eager for an equaliser and their efforts nearly bore fruit only for Gbohouo to dive lowly to save a Yannick Bolasie grounder with his feet.
Kidiaba also had to be at his best for Congo to deny Toure a second goal in the 59th minute.
Incessant pressure paid off in the 68th minute as defender Wilfried Kanon secured a third from a corner kick.
The 1992 champions were out of sight thanks to the effort.
Ivory Coast, beaten finalists at the hands of Zambia in 2012, will play the winner of the other semifinal match between hosts Equatorial Guinea and Ghana at the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo on Thursday evening.
– Muteba, Djos, Kilichio, Makiadi, Mbokani, Bolasie, Zakuani, Kimuani, Mabwati, Bokila, Mbemba.
– Gbohouo, K Toure, Tiene, Gervinho, Bony, Gradel, Aurier, Y Toure, Gonzaroua Die, Bailly, Kanon.
– CAJ News
Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=3960