Ivory Coast 1-0 DR Congo: Talking points as Elephants reach AFCON final

Ivory Coast have secured a place in this year’s edition of the Africa Cup of Nation by beating DR Congo in an intense semifinal clash at the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe on Wednesday evening by 1-0. The only goal of the game was a skillful piece of work by Sebastien Haller in the 65th minute.

The game

Things almost went very wrong for the hosts of the tournament early on, when Ivorian goalkeeper Yahia Fofana dropped a corner whipped towards his near post, allowing Congo striker Cedric Bakambu to steal it from his second-attempt grasp and head into the back of the net. Fortunately for the Ivory Coast, the referee rightly deemed Fofana to have held the ball with both hands when Bakambu knocked it from his grasp and awarded a foul.

Congo continued threatening, their set-pieces repeatedly causing problems for the Elephants’ defence, but no breakthrough was forthcoming at that point. As the first half progressed, the Ivorians grew into the contest and started creating chances at the other end, and Haller wasted two very good chances to break the deadlock, along with a notable one headed wide by Brighton winger Simon Adingra.

Congo tried to hurt the hosts again after the break, mostly through more set-piece moments and shots from distance, but their failure to score was punished in the 65th minute. Franck Kessie broke down the right flank, beat his marker and sent a cross into the box. The Congo defenders failed to clear it and it found Haller, whose hopeful volley bounced off the ground, flew over the outstretched arms of Lionel Mpasi in the Congo goal, and dipped in time to pass under the bar and into the net.

Congo tried to get back level, but all they managed to do before the end was offer the Ivorians several chances to increase their lead. Haller himself missed a glorious one six minutes after his opener, after Congo right-back Gedeon Kalulu made a huge mistake at the back.

Overall, the stats back the Ivory Coast as deserving winners, with…


Source link : https://www.soccernews.com/ivory-coast-1-0-dr-congo-talking-points-as-elephants-reach-afcon-final/366609/

Author : Veselin Trajkovic

Publish date : 2024-02-08 17:06:41

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