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Algeria 2-2 Cote d'Ivoire


Drogba: Amongst the goals

Drogba: Amongst the goals

Cote d'Ivoire came back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against Algeria and set up a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final clash against fellow favourites Nigeria.


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The Elephants had already been assured of their place in the next round, but the draw means they went through as group winners, joined in the last-eight by Togo, whose 1-1 stalemate against Tunisia was enough to progress on goal-difference.

Algeria, meanwhile, were already heading home before the kick-off, although they at least added a point, and their first goals, to an otherwise forgettable outing in South Africa.

Algeria had a golden chance to score their first goal of the tournament after seven minutes as El Arbi Soudani was brought down by Ismael Traore, and although replays showed the foul was outside the area, the referee pointed to the spot. Ryad Boudebouz stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but smashed his low drive against the base of the post.

Chances proved few and far between in the opening half, although Ivory Coast goalkeeper Daniel Yeboah looked a shaky figure at best, twice fumbling routine catches but not being punished for the mistakes.

Didier Drogba almost found a way through after 27 minutes, but his fierce dipping effort was just off target as the ball flashed the wrong side of the post.

Algeria probably should have broken the deadlock right after the restart as Abdul Razak's dangerous delivery was flicked on to Essaid Belkalem, but after finding himself completely unmarked at the far-post he could only head straight at Yeboah, who collected at the second attempt.

Yeboah continued to prove comical between the sticks and inexplicably walked out of his area while holding the ball to concede an indirect free-kick right on the edge of the area, but the chance was wasted after Razak could only fire the set-up against the wall.

Just after the hour mark the Foxes finally got their AFCON goal, Arthur Boka handling in the area to conceded a penalty, and substitute Sofiane Feghouli, who had only been on the field a matter of seconds, made no mistake by slamming his effort into the top corner of the net.

Moments later and the North Africans got a second, Soudani storming into the area to meet a delivery from out wide before slamming his header past the goalkeeper to send the Algerian fans into delirium.

However, the Elephants finally broke into life with 12 minutes remaining, Drogba halving the deficit with a well placed header inside the area.

Just a few minutes later and they were level as Wilfried Bony's rasping drive took a wicked deflection to wrong-foot the goalkeeper and send the ball into the back of the net.

Posted: 30/01/13 18:58

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