MATCH CENTRE

SUN 24 JANUARY 2016, 16:00, BUTARE

4
VS
1

Elephants cruise into CHAN quarterfinals

by BackPageTXT

Sun January 24, 17:54

Ivory Coast joined tournament hosts Rwanda in advancing from Group A into the quarterfinals of the 2016 African Nations Championship after they defeated Gabon 4-1 in Butare on Sunday afternoon.

The Elephants finish the group stage on six points, level with Rwanda (who were beaten by Morocco in the other Group A match) but Amavubi claim top spot thanks to a superior head-to-head record after they beat the West Africans 1-0 in the tournament’s opening game.

Ivory Coast settled the quicker of the two teams and it was no surprise to see them take the lead in the 19th minute, with Essis Aka firing home a low shot from outside the penalty area to make it 1-0.

Gabon responded by withdrawing youngster Mario Mandrault, who struggled to get the better of the Elephants’ defenders, and replacing him with Allen Nono.

The Panthers made a second tactical change at the start of the second half, sending on Lionel Yackouya to replace Aaron Boupendza, and they soon looked a much more dangerous prospect.

In the 51st minute Gabon equalised through Franck Obambou, who got on the end of a corner kick from Knox Younga and found the back of the net with a powerful downward header.

Yet parity lasted less than a quarter hour, with Ivory Coast reclaiming the lead on 65 minutes. Djedje Guiza picked up a loose ball in the penalty area and beat Yves Moto with a powerful shot which burst through the goalkeeper’s hands.

The Elephants added to their advantage in the 77th and 84th minutes as Gabon’s spirits dropped, with substitutes Koffi Boua and Ble Treika both scoring well-executed goals to add some gloss to the score line.

TEAM SQUADS (To be picked from)
COTE D'IVOIRE GABON
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
16
Goalkeeper
23
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
16
Goalkeeper
23
Defender
21
2
Defender
13
19
Defender
4
5
Defender
15
Defender
17
Defender
6
22
Defender
8
Defender
5
Defender
14
Midfielder
3
4
Midfielder
6
Midfielder
18
Midfielder
9
Midfielder
17
Midfielder
20
22
Midfielder
14
Midfielder
12
Midfielder
15
Midfielder
11
Midfielder
19
Midfielder
13
Forward/Striker
10
Forward/Striker
20
Forward/Striker
11
Forward/Striker
10
Forward/Striker
18
Forward/Striker
7
Forward/Striker
8
Forward/Striker
9
Forward/Striker
7
Forward/Striker
21
Forward/Striker
12
Forward/Striker
3
GALLERY
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