Yaya, Gervinho and Drogba will travel to South Africa in January
Côte d’Ivoire sealed their ticket for the final phase of the Afcon 2013 by disposing of Senegal (2-0) on Saturday in Dakar.
Thanks to a brace by their captain Didier Drogba (52nd, 70th), the Ivoirian national team got the upper hand on Senegal in a match classified as high risk by FIFA… and their prophecy came true.
After a balanced first half (0-0) the two teams returned to the pitch, both with the firm conviction that they would be the ones to secure the flight to the Rainbow Nation in January 2013.
Senegal, who were more under pressure, besieged the Ivoirian camp but could not break through the defence of Kolo Touré and his team mates.
And on a free-kick awarded to Yaya Toure on the edge of the box, Didier Drogba beat the goalkeeper Ousmane Mane to open the score (1-0, 52nd).
Joseph Koto, who had opted for a four-man attack made up of Dame Ndoye, Bemba Bâ, Papiss Cissé and Moussa Sow, had to review his plans.
Sadio Mané replaced Demba Bâ (53rd) and Moussa Sow saw his place taken by Moussa Konaté (55th) in an effort to freshen up the attack and to get back into the game as quickly as possible.
And with the obligation of scoring three times, the Lions rushed forward but failed to convert their numerous opportunities (Sadio Mane 62′, Cheikhou Kouyate 64′, Dame Ndoye 67′).
And on yet another attack by the Lions, Yaya managed to get the ball back in midfield before setting up Max Gradel in the box with the St Etienne winger winning a penalty.
Drogba made no mistake in sending the ball home, giving his side a precious 2-0 lead.
This second goal was one too many for an angry local crowd who took it upon themselves to take control of the game by throwing projectiles onto the field and setting fires around the stadium.
The match was therefore interrupted and as all attempts to restore calm failed, the match was given to the visitors who thus sealed their spot in the 2013 Afcon finals.