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Soccer News of Sunday, 3 February 2008

Source: GNA

Elephants through to semi finals

Essipon, (W/R) Feb. 3, GNA - Soccer fans in the twin city of Sekondi-Takoradi on Sunday watched a splendid performance by the Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire that saw them sailing smoothly to the semi finals at the ongoing African Cup of Nations soccer tournament when they bruised Guinea 5-0 in the second quarterfinal match at the Sekondi stadium at Essipon.

It was the Elephants, led by captain Didier Drogba, who kicked off and made early incursions into the vital area of their opponents but the strong defence of Guinea pivoted around Camara Ibrahima managed to keep them at bay.

Abdul Kader Keita exhibited some excellent dribbling skills and combined beautifully with Emmanuel Eboue, Salomon Kalou and Drogba to give the Guinea defence a lot of problems.

In the 16th minute, the Elephants earned two corner kicks but all the chances were wasted. Cheered on by their numerous supporters, they kept on probing for the leader and were rewarded when in the 26th minute Keita released a powerful shot that beat goalkeeper Camara Kemoko in goal for Guinea.

Guinea took up the challenge and fought hard to find the equaliser but the Elephant's goalkeeper Boubacar Barry saved hardworking Bangoura Ismael's goal-bound shot in the 43rd minute.
Cote d'Ivoire could have increased their lead to two before the halftime but Abdulaye Meite, with only the goalkeeper to beat shot wide. When the game resumed for the second half, Drogba made it two in the 77th minute with his Chelsea teammate Salomon Kalou banging tow quick goals to bring the tally to four in the 80th and 85th minutes. Bakari Kone, who came in for Drogba in the 36th minute, sealed the doom of the Guineans when he put the icing on the cake by scoring with a thunderbolt of a shot to make it 5-0 to kick out the Guineans from the tournament.
Guinea, despite the defeat fought hard to get at least a face saving goal but the iron clad Ivorian defence thwarted their efforts.
Line Up Cote d'Ivoire: Boubacar Barry, Boka Arthur, Didier Zokora, Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba/Bakari Kone, Abdulaye Meite, Kofi N'dri, Aruna Dindane/Arouna Kone, Abdul Keita, Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Eboue.
Guinea: Camara Kemoko, Camara Ibrahima, Zayatte Kamil, Mansare Fode, Bangoura Ismail, Youla Souleymana/Cisse Kamara, Shako Mohamed, Dialo Alimou, Johnson Samuel, Jabi Daouba, Bah Dioulde.