Togo VS Tunisia match
Ivory Coast moved closer to the second round at the African Cup of Nations by beating Tunisia 3-0 despite captain Didier Drogba being stuck on the bench for most of Saturday's match.
Gervinho opened the scoring after a one-two combination with Lacina Traore in the 21st minute, Yaya Toure doubled the lead with a powerful shot in the 87th and substitute Didier Ya Konan sealed the victory from inside the area in the 90th.
Drogba, who had a lacklustre performance in the team's opener, came on in the 67th but created few opportunities.
Three and easy: Yaya Toure (second left) celebrates scoring with Didier Drogba and other teammates after putting the Ivory Coast 2-0 up against Tunisia
Almost there: The comprehensive 3-0 win in Rustenburg puts the Ivory Coast within touching distance of the Cup of Nations last eight
Benched: Didier Drogba, who didn't impress in the team's last match against Togo, sat on the bench until well into the second half here
Ivory Coast: Barry, Eboue, Bamba, Tiene, Zokora, Tiote, Toure, Romaric (Konan 88), Gervinho, Kalou (Gradel 80), Lacina Traore (Drogba 67)
Substitutes: Yeboah, Kone, Boka, Toure, Razak, Bony, Ismael Traore, Lolo, Ali Sangare
Scorers: Gervinho 21, Yaya Toure 87, Didier Ya Konan 90
Tunisia: Ben Cherifia, Ifa, Abdennour, Chammam, Ben Yahia, Traoui (Dhaouadi 86), Mouelhi, Hammami (Harbaoui 57), M'Sakni, Ben Youssef (Darragi 46), Khelifa
Substitutes: Ben Mustapha, Hichri, Baratli, Gharbi, Jemaa, Boussaidi, Khazri, Mathlouthi
The win may be enough to secure the Elephants a spot in the quarterfinals, depending on the result of the match between Algeria and Togo later on Saturday.
The Elephants have six points in Group D, while Tunisia stayed with three. Algeria and Togo were yet to win points.
Ivory Coast will close their group stage campaign against Algeria, and Tunisia will face Togo.
Drogba, the biggest star entering the tournament, was surprisingly absent in the Ivory Coast lineup. He didn't appear injured and participated in warmup drills, but was not included by coach Sabri Lamouchi among the starters. He was replaced by Solomon Kalou.
Drogba was quiet in the team's opening match, being substituted in the 74th minute. Didier Zokora was named the captain against Tunisia.
Gervinho scored his second goal of the tournament after a corner on the left side. He picked up the ball just inside the penalty area and fed it to Traore, who quickly passed it back to him as he ran toward the goal and fired a shot into the top of the net. He also scored Ivory Coast's late winner in the 2-1 opening win against Togo.
No problem here: Drogba participated fully in the pre-match warm-up, suggesting his relegation to the bench was a tactical decision
Agony: Ivory Coast's Lacina Traore reacts after missing a good opportunity
Toure, who also netted in the opener, added to the lead near the end by firing a hard shot inside the far post, and Ya Konan closed the scoring with an easy goal after a pass by Gervinho near the penalty spot.
Kalou had a goal disallowed in the 56th after Gervinho was caught offsides before making a cross. Kalou was replaced in the 80th.
Photo Jigsaw Puzzle of Prayer beads, Lome, Togo, West Africa, Africa
Home (Robert Harding)
Framed Artwork of Procession outside Lome cathedral, Lome, Togo, West Africa, Africa
Home (Robert Harding)