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Rearguard action on display as the Stallions hold the Elephants – Ivory Coast 0-0 Burkina Faso, Match Report

January 12, 2010

Didier Drogba (Right) 2008 African Cup of Nations (Photo credit: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Stadium: Estadio do Cabinda
Attendance: 5,000

The surprise start to the African Cup of Nations continued unabated. The casualty this time was Ivory Coast as they where held to a goalless draw by the Stallions of Burkina Faso at Estadio do Cabinda. This is not the start many would have predicted for the Elephants who have been tagged favorites to win the competition.

In game they dominated from the blast of the whistle to the end, some may say they were unfortunate not to have won the match. But I would give it to the Burkinabes who showed their resilience through out the game. Their resolute defending coupled with some brilliant saves by goalkeeper Daouda Diakite paid off at the end of the game. Bare in mind that, the two had earlier met twice in the qualifiers to the competition and on both occasions the Elephants won (5-0 & 3 -2).

First Half
Before the match commenced, a minute of silence was observed for those who died in the unfortunate incidence in which the Togo national team was attacked by gunmen in Cabinda.

In this half, the Ivorians enjoyed a great spell of dominance, and at a point the possession read 73 % in their favor. On the field of play,the tournament favorites created a number of decent chances. The Ivorians were denied a penalty when Drogba was fouled in the box only three minutes into the action. In the 7th minute Kolo Toure tried to set up Didier Drogba but the Chelsea forward could not control. Kone attempted a long range shot from 35 m out which almost suprised goalkeeper, Diakite. Diakite was called again into action in the 25th minute to deal with a goal-bound header by Yaya Toure. He sure was having a busy day. On the stroke of half time, Drogba supplied a quick touch to Kone but was denied by the goalkeeper. Can the Stallions weather the storm?

Second Half
Back from recess, the Ivorians piled up more pressure on their West African counterparts but still no goal to show for the efforts. One the best chances of the match fell to Kone, but he had his shot saved again. Definitely not the game he had anticipated.

Despite the pressure, the Stallions had improved and seemed to be getting their passes together. They launched a number of counter attacks from the left wing, where playmaker, Jonathan Pitroipa was enjoying some great runs. A freekick by Dagano was on target, but could only result in a corner.

Gervinho and Kone play a beautiful one-two, but Kone blowed another opportunity to put his side up. That surely must have summed up his night. He is substituted immediately and Keita takes his place. Drogba seems to be missing. We haven’t seen him in this half. Tall has been following him through out the game and so it seems to have worked to perfection. The Ivorian coach throws his last cards, Kalou and Dindane but they could not change the fortunes of the team.

Goal Summary: Ivory Coast 0-0 Burkina Faso

Teams
Ivory Coast
1 Barry Boubacar Copa, 6 Gneri Toure Yaya, 4 Kolo Toure, 21 Emmanuel Eboue, 22 Souleymane Bamba , 17 Siaka Chico Tiene, 5 Didier Zokora, 9 Ismael Cheik Tiote (Aruna Dindane 81′); 11 Didier Drogba , 14 Bakari Kone (Abdulkader Keita 69′); 10 Yao Kouassi Gervinho (Salomon Kalou 73′)

Substitutes
23 Vincent de Paul Angban, 16 Aristide Zogbo, 20 Guy Demel, 12 Abdoulaye Meite, 3 Arthur Boka, 2 Angouan brou, 7 Emerse Fae, 13 Jean-Jaques Gosso, 19 Emmanuel Kone, 15 Aruna Dindane, 8 Salomon Kalou, 18 Abdulkader Keita

Booked: Gneri Toure Yaya (71)

Burkina Faso
1 Daouda Diakite, 4 Mamadou Tall, 6 Babary Kone, 17 Paul Koulibaly(Ibrahim Gnanou for Paul 46′); 8 Mahamadou Kere, 12 Saidou Panandetiguiri, 18 Charles Kabore, 7 Florent Rouamba, 15 Narcisse Yameogo (Habib Bamogo 62); 9 Beli Moumouni Dagano (Yssouf Kone 81′); 11 Jonathan Pitroipa
Substitutes
26 Adama Sawadogo, 2 Germain Sanou, 14 Moussa Ouattara 3 Ibrahim Gnanou, 13 Abdoul Aziz Nikiema, 27 Issouf Ouattara 25 Mohamed Koffi, 28 Wilfreid Benjamin Balima, 21 Habib Bamogo, 23 Patrick Zoundi, 16 Wilfried Sanou, 19 Yssouf Kone
Booked: Paul Koulibaly (26), Saidou Panandetiguiri (74)

Reactions
“It was a difficult start. After what happened a few days ago, it was difficult to concentrate,” Drogba

“We were not good in the first half, we did not create chances. It was better after the break.” Burkina Faso coach

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