African Cup of Nations quarter-final, Royal Bafokeng Stadium – Ivory Coast 1 (Tiote 50) Nigeria 2 (Emenike 43, Mba 78).
Ivory Coast again failed to live up to their billing as African Cup of Nations favourites after a 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Nigeria at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
In a cagey, tactical game Nigeria’s more positive outlook paid off as Emmanuel Emenike’s thunderbolt and a deflected Sunday Mba goal saw them through.
Tiote was on target for Ivory Coast, with Didier Drogba hugely disappointing in what will surely be his last chance at international silverware.
It was a higher standard of match than others at these finals, with Ivory Coast restoring their full starting XI after playing a shadow side against Algeria last time out. The Super Eagles, meanwhile, made two changes from the 2-0 win over Ethiopia, with Ogenyi Onazi replacing the suspended Fegor Ogude and Ideye Brown in for Ike Uche.
The Elephants were comfortable favourites according to the bookmakers, but it did not show in the first half as Nigeria bossed the game.
John Obi Mikel dictated the tempo, but Victor Moses was the main man, threatening with his livewire runs and pinpoint set-piece deliveries, also forcing a smart stop from Boubacar Barry with a long-range effort.
Brown also headed just over from a Moses free-kick, while Emenike was guilty of a poor miss when he hit over after Brown played him through.
Ivory Coast, meanwhile, were struggling to register a passing move, failing to get Yaya Toure on the ball and only threatening from set pieces – even then, Vincent Enyeama barely had to make a save.Continue reading