MATCH CENTRE

WED 19 NOVEMBER 2014, 16:00, ABIDJAN

0
VS
0

Ivory Coast secure qualification

by Graeme Jackson

Wed November 19, 18:09

Ivory Coast secured qualification for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals after playing to a goalless draw with Cameroon in Abidjan on Wednesday.

The Elephants needed just a point to ensure they finished second in Group D behind the Indomitable Lions and in a match that failed to catch alight, they were able to play out a tame draw that suited both teams.

Ivory Coast had the first shot on goal, with Yaya Toure testing Joseph Fabrice Ondoua direct from a free kick in the fourth minute, but the goalkeeper was able to punch the ball clear.

The pace of the game was noticeably becalmed in the heat and humidity of Abidjan, with the teams generally content to play within themselves in an effort to conserve energy.

The home side created only two further notable chances in the first half: the first saw Serge Aurier threaten on the overlap before being closed down, while Gervinho volleyed over the crossbar from within the penalty area.

Cameroon were dealt a blow when midfielder Georges Mandjeck had to be replaced by Franck Kom due to injury, but in striker Vincent Aboubakar they had a dangerous attacking outlet.

The forward almost opened the scoring late in the first half with a fine low shot that forced a good save from Sylvain Gbohouo, while the rebound fell into the path of Clinton N’Jie, but he couldn’t force the ball home from a tight angle.

Cameroon were reduced to 10 men a few minutes before the hour mark in the second half when captain Stephane Mbia was adjudged to have denied Gervinho a clear scoring opportunity. Television replays suggested it was a harsh decision from the referee.

From the subsequent free kick Yaya Toure almost put Ivory Coast ahead, but his curling shot was headed off his own goal line by Aboubakar, who was brilliantly placed to defend the strike.

With 20 minutes to play Gervinho had another great chance after playing a quick one-two with Salomon Kalou, but the Roma attacker was denied by a brave block from Ondoua.

The dying minutes of the game saw Ivory Coast just knock the ball around like a training session, with an exhausted Cameroon not applying any pressure and clearly happy to play out a goalless stalemate.

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE ABIDJAN
COTE D'IVOIRE GOALS CAMEROON GOALS
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
1 1
COTE D'IVOIRE STARTING LINEUP CAMEROON STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
16
Goalkeeper
16
Defender
4
Defender
6
12
Defender
17
Defender
38'
46'
3
Defender
5
Defender
57'
17
Midfielder
7
Midfielder
11
Midfielder
14
Midfielder
34'
14
Midfielder
6
Midfielder
9
Forward/Striker
10
Forward/Striker
66'
7
Forward/Striker
46'
18
Forward/Striker
2
Forward/Striker
8
Forward/Striker
10
SUBSTITUTIONS
Wilfried Bony
Forward/Striker
46'
12
Franck Kom
Midfielder
34'
0
Jerome Guihota
Defender
46'
5
Franck Etoundi
Forward/Striker
66'
15
CARDS
Nicolas N'Koulou
Defender
38'
3
Stephane Mbia
Defender
57'
17
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
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