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Nigeria, Ivory Coast reach African Cup semis

Posted by USA on 2006/02/04 | Views: 819 |

Nigeria, Ivory Coast reach African Cup semis


Chelsea striker Didier Drogba made the decisive penalty kick in an extraordinary shootout Saturday, sending the Ivory Coast past Cameroon and into the semifinals of the African Cup of Nations.

CAIRO (AP) Chelsea striker Didier Drogba made the decisive penalty kick in an extraordinary shootout Saturday, sending the Ivory Coast past Cameroon and into the semifinals of the African Cup of Nations.
 
The Ivory Coast won 12-11 on penalty kicks after the teams played to a 0-0 tie in regulation and each scored in overtime. In the other quarterfinal in Port Said, Nigeria ousted defending champion Tunisia 6-5 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie following regulation and 30 minutes of overtime.


In Tuesday's semifinals, it's four-time champion Egypt vs. Senegal in Cairo and Ivory Coast vs. Nigeria in Alexandria.


Drogba scored after Samuel Eto'o put his penalty kick over the bar. All 11 players from both teams, including the goalkeepers, scored in the shootout, and they had to start again. Eto'o, the Barcelona striker who leads the tournament with five goals, shot high over the crossbar. Drogba then stepped in and scored.


Ivory Coast edged out Cameroon for a World Cup berth, although it lost both home and away to the Indomitable Lions. Cameroon, undefeated before Saturday's game, was looking for its third African title in the last four tournaments.


In Port Said, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama ended Tunisia's reign as African champion. Enyeama stopped three Tunisian shots and scored once himself in the shootout. Enyeama also saved a penalty earlier in the game.


"We came here to win and we're very happy," said John Obi Mikel, Nigeria's 18-year-old midfielder. "It's a great thing for me as a young player coming up."


Nigeria is rebuilding after failing to qualify for this summer's World Cup in Germany and has won all four of its games in Egypt.


"A penalty shootout can go either way," Nigeria coach Austin Eguavoen said. "In everything you do, you need a bit of luck."


 

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