Tournament favourites Ivory Coast were eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations last night after losing 3-2 to Algeria in the quarter finals. The Elephants were given a rude shock when Algeria twice came from behind to steal a draw and ensure the match went into extra time.
This coupled with the news of Milan’s defeat to arch rivals Inter turned my otherwise great weekend into just an okay one. The game seemed to be heading into extra time until Keita, Ivory Coast’s super sub whipped in a cracker with just 4 minutes left on the clock to make the score 2-1 in favour of the Elephants.
Algeria responded in the 89th minute to restore parity between the two world cup bound teams. Algeria’s equaliser cruel as it was, reduced the capacity filled stadium in Cabinda to silence. I have to admit, Algeria’s 2nd goal of the night was like a magic pill. It literally gave them the determination to go for the winner.
Two minutes into the first half of extra time, Algeria scored the winner. Extra time was all about the Desert Foxes and Ivory Coast were lucky not to concede more goals. However, the match was not complete without the usual antics of all North African sides. Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco all employ time wasting tactics like feigning injuries to maintain slender leads and Algeria was no exception.
Their keeper Chanouchi consumed about 4 minutes of time when he apparently injured his back in a 50-50 challenge with Drogba. To make it worse for the Elephants, they had a Kolo Toure goal ruled out for offside with about two minutes left on the clock. A decision which the linesman clearly misjudged.
Tonight, Egypt face Cameroon in another potentially explosive match while Nigeria take on Zambia. Cameroon will look to make up for their 2008 finals loss by beating the champs. The action keeps getting better and better and tonight fans of the African game can expect another surprise if last night’s game is anything to go by.
Photo credit: Menosultra