Five-star Ivory Coast ease through
Elephants cruise through to the last four
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: February 3, 2008 10:37pm
Drogba: Master finisher
Ivory Coast booked their place in the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a thumping 5-0 win over Guinea.
The Elephants proved to be far too strong for their opponents as they continue in their attempts to go one better than their runners-up spot at the tournament two years ago.
An open first-half saw both sides create numerous chances in a game which flowed freely from end to end.
Abdoulaye Meite and Aruna Dindane both came close for the Ivory close inside the opening 20 minutes, while Souleymane Youla and Mamadou Dioulde Bah should have done better when presented with decent opportunities for Guinea.
With it seemingly only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken Kader Keita duly obliged on 25 minutes to give Ivory Coast the lead.
Breaking in from the right wing Keita's effort from a tight angle beat Kemoko Camara at his near post after the Guinea keeper was inexplicably left stranded six-yards off his line.
Both sides continued to look far from secure at the back throughout the half, with Arthur Boka, Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba and Ismael Bangoura all wasting chances to get their name on the scoresheet before the interval.
The second period began in much the same way as the first had ended, with defences seemingly becoming obsolete and forwards very much on top.
The Ivory Coast then began to exert their dominance on proceedings and Kalou and Dindane should have double their lead before Drogba produced a finishing master class on 70 minutes.
Leaving defenders trailing in his wake the Chelsea hit-man burst into the box before opening up his body and coolly slotting past a helpless Camara.
The goal seemed to drain any confidence which still remained in the hapless Guinean side and just two minutes later Kalou was left all alone to simply round a stranded Camara and walk the ball into an empty net.
With the Ivory Coast now threatening to score every time they broke forward it came as no surprise when Yaya Toure's fine run down the left resulted in Kalou tapping into an empty net to end the game as a contest on 81 minutes.
With the result now starting to become slightly embarrassing for Guinea, Bakary Kone compounded their misery further with a fine fifth three minutes from time when he smashed an unstoppable effort into the top-right hand corner from the edge of the area.
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