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Elephants have one to remember

The Ivory Coast have registered their first ever victory at the World Cup Finals after coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Serbia and Montenegro.

Last Modified: 21 Jun 2006 21:42 GMT
Finally... it's party time

The Ivory Coast have registered their first ever victory at the World Cup Finals after coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Serbia and Montenegro.

The much heralded Serbia and Montenegro defence leaked three goals in 55 minutes to go home from the Cup without a point.

The Elephants had close to 70 percent possession for most of the match and they finally got on the scoreboard 10 minutes before the break when a terrible handball from Milan Dudic left Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez in no doubt that he should point to the spot and hand out a yellow card.

The fact it wasn’t a different colour was a testament to the referee’s generosity.

From the resulting penalty Aruna Didane slammed home his side’s first for the night.

It got worse for the side from the Balkans when Albert Nadj was red carded at the end of the half for his second bookable offence.

The tall and short of it

After a second half of plenty of chances the winner came through a bizarre example of de ja vu.

Another shot from the Elephants struck Dudic on the arm again and referee Rodriguez again pointed to the spot.

Ivory Coast forward Dindane rushed to take the penalty in an effort to become the first player to score a hat trick at the World Cup, but he was overruled by stand-in captain Bonaventure Kalou who decided to step up himself.

Luckily for the PSG forward he coolly slotted the ball home to send his team mates and crowd into a frenzy.

While the Serbia and Montenegro team hardly pushed forward to look for an equaliser, there were some tense moments when Ivory Coast defender Domoraud was red carded for his second offence.

The Ivorians can return home with their heads held high after three competitive points and three points well earned.

Serbia and Montenegro can just go home.

Their appalling performances made a mockery of the 'Group of Death' label given to Group C before the tournament.

Toothless in defence and anaemic in attack, one must wonder how they conned so many people into believing they were even close to a credible side of World Cup standard.

Source:
Aljazeera + Agencies
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