Posted by By TAREK AL-ISSAWI on
The Ivory Coast defeated Nigeria 1-0 on Didier Drogba's 47th-minute goal in an African Cup of Nations semifinal Tuesday to book a spot in the final of the continent's top soccer tournament.
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (AP) - The Ivory Coast defeated Nigeria 1-0 on Didier Drogba's 47th-minute goal in an African Cup of Nations semifinal Tuesday to book a spot in the final of the continent's top soccer tournament.
The Chelsea striker received a ball from Didier Zokora over the Nigerian defence two minutes into the second half and slotted it home under goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. The Ivory Coast will play either Egypt and Senegal in the final.
The Ivory Coast controlled the pace from the start and did most of the attacking, with the Super Eagles sitting back and absorbing the pressure.
Drogba came close in the eighth minute, but Enyeama saved his free kick.
Nigeria created chances in the first half, but there weren't any clear-cut scoring opportunities, as both sides played cautiously.
After Drogba's goal, the Elephants, growing in confidence, played more freely, but failed to add to the lead.
Nigerian coach Augustine Eguavoen introduced Bolton's Jay Jay Okocha, but his impact was minimal, with the Ivorian defence closing him down whenever he touched the ball.
The Super Eagles pushed forward in the closing minutes, but they were unable to break down a solid Ivorian defence, led by Arsenal defender Kolo Toure.
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