Skip to main content

Drogba dropped as Ivorians advance to AFCON quarterfinals

January 26, 2013 -- Updated 2043 GMT (0443 HKT)
Substitute Didier Drogba (left) celebrates with Yaya Toure after the midfielder put the Ivory Coast 2-0 ahead near the end of the Africa Cup of Nations Group D match against Tunisia in Rustenburg. Substitute Didier Drogba (left) celebrates with Yaya Toure after the midfielder put the Ivory Coast 2-0 ahead near the end of the Africa Cup of Nations Group D match against Tunisia in Rustenburg.
HIDE CAPTION
Drogba dropped by Ivory Coast
Drogba dropped by Ivory Coast
Drogba dropped by Ivory Coast
Drogba dropped by Ivory Coast
Drogba dropped by Ivory Coast
Drogba dropped by Ivory Coast
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ivory Coast captain and talisman Didier Drogba dropped for 3-0 win over Tunisia
  • Gervinho and Yaya Toure both score second goal of tournament for 2012 finalists
  • Togo's later 2-0 win over Algeria puts Ivorians into the quarterfinals in South Africa
  • Defeat means north Africans are the first team to be eliminated from group stage

(CNN) -- Didier Drogba was dropped to the bench for the first time in his long international career on Saturday, but his Ivory Coast teammates took up the responsibility to win a place in the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 3-0 win over Tunisia.

Togo's later 2-0 win over Algeria ensured the Ivorians went through, and meant the 1990 champions became the first nation to be eliminated.

Drogba handed over the captain's armband to Didier Zakora, having failed to impress in his team's opening Group D victory over Togo.

The 34-year-old former Chelsea star had complained of a lack of match fitness before the tournament started in South Africa, having not played since the end of the Chinese league season with his club Shanghai Shenhua in early November.

Read: Africa Cup of Nations team guide

Part of the Ivorians' "golden generation," Drogba is still waiting for his first AFCON title in six attempts, having lost in the 2012 final after a penalty shootout against Zambia.

The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in South Africa on Saturday. It is one of the world's most exciting tournaments including players who ply their trade in some of Europe's top leagues. Among them is Fuad Ibrahim, a young American striker who once played for the U.S Under-17 and Under-20 teams. The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in South Africa on Saturday. It is one of the world's most exciting tournaments including players who ply their trade in some of Europe's top leagues. Among them is Fuad Ibrahim, a young American striker who once played for the U.S Under-17 and Under-20 teams.
American boy
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Ethiopia\'s American boy Ethiopia's American boy
Limited resources
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
High flyer: Cape Verde\'s \'Special One\' High flyer: Cape Verde's 'Special One'
Tiny island makes football history
Footballing maverick on giving back

However, he did come on as a replacement in the second half for his 92nd international appearance as Yaya Toure and another substitute, Didier Ya Konan, scored late goals to add to Gervinho's first-half opener.

"Why didn't I play Didier Drogba? Because it seemed to me that the 11 players I picked were the best to overcome this good Tunisian side," Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi told reporters in Rustenburg.

"My first satisfaction comes from the victory and the second from the content. We really entered this competition today.

"We caused a lot of problems for this very good Tunisian team and were never really threatened at any point."

Read: Mourinho mentors Cape Verde's 'Special One'

Arsenal striker Gervinho put his team ahead in the 21st minute with his second goal of the tournament, but the Elephants needed to wait until two minutes from the end before two-time African player of the year Toure curled in his second in two games.

Ya Konan, also dropped to the bench after starting against Togo, sidefooted home the third goal in the 90th minute.

Togo helped the Ivorians to go through to the knockout phase ahead of the final round of group games by beating Tunisia's north African rivals Algeria.

Captain Emmanuel Adebayor scored the opening goal in the 32nd minute to give his team hope of reaching the last eight for the first time, needing only a draw in Wednesday's match against Tunisia.

Read: Ethiopia's 'American boy'

The match was held up late in the second half when a goal post was knocked over after Algeria's Adlene Guedioura collided with the netting, meaning 13 minutes of added time were played.

Two minutes into that, Dove Wome struck on the counterattack to end Algeria's hopes of going through.

Adebayor has returned to international action after settling a dispute with national team officials.

Togo did not reach the finals of the 2012 tournament, having been reinstated in the qualifiers after initially being banned.

The squad broke rules by withdrawing before the 2010 event in Angola following a gun attack on the team's bus that left three people dead.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
CNN Football Club
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
Dutch football team head coach Louis van Gaal (L) and Dutch's assistant coach Patrick Kluivert (R) look on before a friendly football match between Belgium and Netherlands in Brussels on August 15, 2012.
Should the Manchester United board have insisted upon a more radical overhaul of the club's football operation when Alex Ferguson stepped down?
April 23, 2014 -- Updated 1326 GMT (2126 HKT)
Sunday Oliseh plays for NIgeria at the 1998 World Cup in France.
When Sunday Oliseh was a young boy, he never dreamed he would one day carry the hopes of 170 million people on football's biggest stage.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
The 1989 Hillsborough stadium tragedy, which claimed 96 lives, brought the red and the blue halves of Liverpool together.
CNN's Don Riddell says the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy has caused irreparable damage to the families of the 96 victims and the survivors.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The Champions league trophy stands on show during the draw for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions league at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on March 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO/FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Two European heavyweights will collide in the Champions League semifinals after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were drawn together in Switzerland.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka looks on during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, on January 1, 2014.
England prides itself on being the home of football, but is the nation dysfunctional in dealing with racist abuse?
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
In a city where football is a religion, Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge is fast becoming a deity.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
Neymar
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
ADVERTISEMENT