The Elephants haven’t faltered: with their 3-1 victory over Ghana, Ivory Coast are through to the quarter finals of the 2010 African Cup of Nations. The Black Stars will have to beat Burkina Faso to stay on.
Ivory Coast had no choice. In a group limited to only three teams, due to Togo pulling out, they had to win. After stumbling against Burkina Faso in their opening game, Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Eboué were set on bouncing back against the Black Stars of Ghana.
But, with Michael Essien back in a squad full of U21 World Cup winners, Ghana were to prove quite the challenge for the Elephants.
As a matter of fact, Asamoah was the first in action, testing Ivory Coast keeper Barry from the long range. But the Elephants wouldn’t go down without a fight. And former Tottenham midfielder Didier Zokora answered twice, each time to see his shots parried by Kingson.
Capitalising on a weak defence, ten-man Ivory Coast became the first side to reach the last eight of the Cup of Nations after defeating Ghana 3-1. The Elephants broke the deadlock through Gervinho, well served by Chelsea’s Kalou, on 23 minutes with a classic counter-attacking move.
With one man down, Arsenal Emmanuel Eboué being sent off for an assault on Opoku just before the hour mark, the Ivorians extend their lead with Siaka Tiene curling a left-foot free-kick into the top right-hand corner of the goal.
The game was already sealed when Didier Drogba headed in from a delightful cross before Asamoah Gyan converted a late penalty for Ghana.
3-1 to Ivory Coast and the Elephants are the first team to punch their ticket to the quarters.
Meanwhile, Ghana missed their entrance in the 2010 African Cup of Nations and will be desperate for a win on Tuesday against upsetters Burkina Faso.