Two goals from Didier Drogba and a fine free kick from Yaya Toure gave Ivory Coast a comfortable 3-0 win over Co-host Equatorial Guinea to send the Elephants through to the Semi final where they will face either Gabon or Mali.
In the day’s earlier match Zambia beat 10 man Sudan with a scoreline to make it through to the semis for the first time since 1996. The Chipolopolo could face Tunisia (the same side that knocked them out 16 years ago) in the last four if they get past Ghana.
So the stage is being set for what should be an epic semi final, that is if, both Ghana and Mali edge out their opponents. On paper that should be the case, but we all know football is not played on played on paper but on a pitch.
After watching Senegal without even registering a single point, nothing is guaranteed. Drogba had the chance of netting a hat-trick on the night but he had a penalty saved before he headed in his second goal on the night.
Speaking after the match, Drogba said that the encouragement from his team mates helped him get back in the game.
“My teammates encouraged me and supported me a lot. I had to get back into the game and I owed them these goals. I am happy to have produced the goods for them and I am proud of my colleagues.”
Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui on his part knew exactly why his side won.
“Another team would have lost because I saw a very good Equatorial Guinesa side out there. Happily for us, Didier made the difference and we came through.”
On the other hand, Zambia have really impressed me. The momentum from their 2-1 win over Senegal on matchday 1 seems to have done them good as they look unstoppable at the moment.
However, this could when the other semi finalists are known today. After yesterdays matches, 66 goals have been scored so far in the tournament with the top scorer list of 5 all on 3 goals includes: Drogba, Manucho of Angola, Chris Katongo of Zambia, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon and Houssine Kharja of Morocco.
With 3 of the player on that list still having a chance to add on to their tally, it’s still too early to call out a clear favourite. That said, tonight’s fixtures will see Ghana and Tunisia square it out in the early fixture before Gabon locks horns with Mali in the later on.