Blues' brothers inspire Ivory Coast to final
- 08 February 2012 20:50
- Posted by David Clayton
Kolo and Yaya Toure helped Ivory Coast reach the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations final for only the third time after a narrow 1-0 win over Mali.
The Elephants have won the tournament just once in its 55-year history, but have the chance of their first success since 1992 after Arsenal striker Gervinho’s fine solo goal on the stroke of half-time proved enough to beat a disappinting Mali.
Zambia now await the Toure brothers in Sunday’s showdown (kick-off 7pm) after their surprise 1-0 win over Mohammed Abu’s Ghana in the other semi.
Like Ivory Coast, The Copper Bullets have only appeared in the final twice before, but the nation who lost 18 players in a plane crash in 1993 have never won the most prestigious competition in Africa.
In what is likely to be a highly emotional occasion, the Zambian players know they will be playing the final just a few miles from where the disaster happened in Libreville.
Ivory Coast, recording their fifth successive clean sheet, were rarely under pressure in what ultimately proved to be a comfortable victory. Kolo won his 96th cap and enjoyed a solid 90 minutes while Yaya, earning cap number 66, struck the post in the first-half and gave a typically understated, impressive display before being substituted a minute from time.
The final will take place in the 40,000-capacity Stade d'Angondjé in Gabon and The Elephants, listed 53 places higher than Zambia in the FIFA world rankings, will start as strong favourites.
Watch for more Africa Cup of Nations coverage on the run up to the final.