Group D: Algeria – Côte d’Ivoire 2-2, Algeria take home one point
The Fennec Foxes of Algeria crash out of the Orange Africa cup of nations 2013 with a precious point following a 2-2 draw tonight against Ivory Coast. The Algerians were leading 2-0 thanks to Feghouli and Soudani before Ivory Coast fought back through Drogba and Boni to level the score. Despite some fluent moves at the start by the Elephants, Algeria had a chance to grab the lead after just 6 minutes. Hilal Soudani was brought down in Ivory Coast’s box; Boudebouz struck the ball with confidence just to see his effort off target as it hit the post. In the 16th, Kalou broke into the box but his final shot flew over the crossbar. The last ten minutes of the first half appeared very. Elephants had a great build with Drogba firing a ball to Kone sent to Mbolhi who got totally confused and comfortably held it. Two minutes after, Soudani broke on the left having Slimani in the area waiting. The forward fired in a wicked low cross but it flew past everyone for a goal kick. Both sides went to the break with neither producing a goal. About eight minutes into the second segment, a shot by Boudebouz was deflected by the wall and cleared away. The tempo of the game got higher and higher until the 64th when the Fennecs won a second penalty. Sofiane Feghouli did not think twice as he fired a powerful one right at the bottom of the net to break the deadlock for Algeria. Six minutes after, a pinpoint cross by Feghouli reached Soudani who slotted in and double the lead. Though the result could not affect in any way Ivory Coast’s position at the top of group D, former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba felt no pity for their tonight’s counterparts and reduced the score. He appeared on the end of a cross and powered his header down in classic centre-forward style to bring his side back into the game. Bony also scored just four minutes after to put both sides on the same level. In the last five, Ivoirians missed a winner when Drogba poked in a shot clean through but the keeper was equal to it and saved well. The Fennec Foxes were close to getting a full face-saver but could only manage the 2-2 draw against the Elephants. Vahid Halilhodzic and his boys return home bagging at least a point and two goals. In the other encounter, Tunisia were held 1-1 by Togo who have finished second, joining Ivory Coast in the last eight at South Africa 2013.
After registering two straight defeats as well as being unable to score a single goal at the ongoing Orange AFCON 2013, the Fennec Foxes of Algeria will be seeking to bow out with prestige as they face Ivory Coast this Wednesday in Rustenburg. The outcome of the encounter will be meaningless for the Elephants who are already in the quarterfinal after leading group D with six points. Earlier tipped as one of the favorites of this year’s edition, the Algerians fell twice against Tunisia (0-1), Togo (0-2). The least desire by the Elephants to sign off the group stage with a hundred percent record Vahid Halilhodzic and his boys return home even without a goal. The Fennecs Foxes are second in Africa, currently at 22nd position on FIFA ranking. They stand behind Ivory Coast who are 14th. Today in Rustenburg, the Elephants’ coach, Sabri Lamouchi could opt to refresh team A for the quarterfinal and use the second eleven against Algeria.