Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Day 4 Scores and Results Summary
For anyone who enjoys playing Ivory Coast on FIFA 13 and sending through balls to the team's speedy forwards, Tuesday offered a chance to see the team in action when it opened its Africa Cup of Nations campaign against Togo in Group D play.
North African rivals Algeria and Tunisia were also in action during the later game.
But let's be honest, all eyes are on Ivory Coast on Tuesday. The team is chock full of talented players that are spread around Europe's top clubs, including Manchester City's Yaya Toure, Arsenal's Gervinho, Newcastle's Cheick Tiote, Lille's Salomon Kalou and, oh yeah, that Didier Drogba guy.
Perhaps you've heard of him. Without further ado, let's break down Tuesday's action at the Afcon.
Ivory Coast Defeats Togo, 2-1
Oh, how close Togo was to pulling off the coup and earning a tie. Unfortunately for the underdogs, Toure and Gervinho weren't about to let that happen.
In the 88th minute, a Toure free kick made its way to Gervinho, who calmly put the ball into the back of the net. The play probably should have been handled by keeper Kossi Agassa, and his mistake was deadly for Togo.
The Elephants largely controlled the possession in the early going and took an early lead as Gervinho set up Toure with the scoring chance, and the classy midfielder sent a deflected shot past Agassa for the team's first goal.
The game probably should have been tied at that point, however, as Togo's top player, Emmanuel Adebayor, lost possession of the ball in the box with a brilliant chance to slot home an easy goal.
But the Togo defense would tighten up after that. Though the team struggled to contain winger Max Gradel—and a late second-half shot by Toure would hit the woodwork—Togo would even the game at one apiece in the 45th minute after Jonathan Ayite scored off a corner.
Before Gervinho's second-half goal, the second half was a rather subdued affair, as was Drogba for the entirety of this game. That's a major concern for Ivory Coast—if Drogba is invisible on the pitch, the Elephants will not win this tournament.
But they did manage to win this game after applying late pressure and finally getting the winner. Togo will feel it wasted a very good opportunity, while Ivory Coast will gladly take the three points, though the side surely has some tweaking to do.
Tunisia Defeats Algeria, 1-0
There's an old joke about the NBA that you really don't need to watch anything other than the last five minutes. Thus far, you might use that joke to describe the Afcon as well.
After a largely dull 90 minutes of play between Tunisia and Algeria, Youssef "Little Mozart" Msakni ended the scoreless drought in the 90th minute, ripping a curler from outside the box into the net during stoppage time and giving Tunisia three huge points.
That's now the fourth game in this tournament that has seen the winner scored within the last 10 minutes of play. Exciting stuff.
However, most of this match was constituted of duller football, a surprise since many thought given the rivalry between these countries and the style of play that each employ that this would be the most exciting match of group play.
Twenty minutes into the match, there were 14 fouls and no chances. While Algeria would threaten somewhat after that, Tunisia were largely invisible for the duration of the first half.
The second half was a rather dull affair with chances few and far between, but Msakni would provide the late fireworks in stoppage time with the game-winning goal. One would think these three points would catapult Tunisia to the quarterfinals alongside Ivory Coast, but there is a lot of soccer yet to be played.
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