30 January 2013

Algeria/Cote d'Ivoire: Algeria Hold Cote D?ivoire in Four-Goal Thriller

Algeria bowed out of the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-2 draw with Cote d'Ivoire in their ultimate Group D clash on Thursday in Rustenburg.

All four goals came in the second half of the game that saw the Ivorians leave out some regular players including Yaya Toure, Gervinho, Didier Zokora, Emmanuel Eboue and goalkeeper Boubacar Barry.

Cote d'Ivoire captain Didier Drogba made a return to the starting line-up, whilst Arouna Kone had his first taste of the tournament in a match the outcome was of little importance to the Elephants, who had already booked their place at the last eight.

The North Africans gave up a two-goal lead allowing the Ivorians to tie the game and maintain their unbeaten run at the group phase.

The Desert Foxes got off well and on seven minutes were rewarded a penalty but Ryad Boudebouz shot against the post. The Ivorians gradually came in with Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba making inroads upfront.

Both teams had their fair share of the exchanges but failed to break the deadlock as the first half ended barren.

The Algerians resumed strongly and had their second penalty of the game on 64 minutes after Ivorian defender Arthur Boka handled in the vital area. Playmaker Sofiane Feghouli connected the spot kick for the first goal of the game.

Six minutes later, Feghouli turned provider by delivering a cross from the right which met the head of Hilal Soudani for the second goal.

Ivorian captain Drogba reduced the deficit on 77 minutes, with a superb header that Algeria goalie Rais Mbolhi had no answer to.

The Elephants deservingly restored parity on 81 minutes through Wilfried Bony with a long range drive that deflected off an Algerian player before strolling into the net.

In the other match, Togo and Tunisia settled for a 1-1 draw, which saw the former go through to the next round alongside the Ivorians.

Cote d'Ivoire finished on seven points, Togo and Tunisia both on four points with Algeria at the bottom with just a point.

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