31 January 2013

Cote d'Ivoire/Algeria: Côte d'Ivoire's Didier Drogba On Top Form Against Algeria in Africa Cup of Nations

Nelspruit — Five things we learned from Day 12.

There's another Frenchman wearing a white shirt in town. Just after we lost Hervé Renard's Le Touchline Look, in saunters Togo coach Didier Six also wearing a white shirt. Le Six Appeal offers to us a white shirt with a pleat down the back. It is worn with two buttons undone and - very important this - untucked. Black trousers complement a fulsome head of black hair. Et voilà. Le Six.

Tunisian players don't go in for lurid haircuts. It was utterly refreshing to see a bunch of footballers with conventional hairstyles. Of course some of the Tunisians didn't have any hair. That, of course, is a no nonsense approach of which the daily review approves.

Looks can be so deceptive. Emmanuel Adebayor, formerly of the parish of Arsenal and Manchester City, lollops around the field looking ever so nonchalant.

But the SportVU optical tracking statistics - yes the same outfit which told me back on Day 3 that Zambia had 55 per cent of ball possession and Ethiopia 46 per cent - show that after the first 45 minutes of the match against Tunisia the Tottenham Hotspur marksman had covered 5.1 kilometres. The thing is do I believe it?

West Africa rules OK. This I can believe. Seven of the eight quarter finalists are from the region. South Africa are the gatecrashers but that's a bit of a harsh evaluation since they're actually hosting the party.

Captain Fantastic is back. Didier Drogba started on the bench for Côte d'Ivoire's second game against Tunisia eventually coming on as a substitute in the second half.

The 34-year-old was on from the beginning against Algeria . It was essentially a ceremonial outing in Rustenburg as the north Africans had already been eliminated and the Ivorians had won the group.

Drogba headed in the first as Côte d'Ivoire came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2. But will he be in the starting line-up for the west African blockbuster against Nigeria on Sunday in Rustenburg?

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