Senegal's Africa Cup of Nations tie with Ivory Coast was abandoned on Saturday when riot police fired tear gas inside the packed stadium as thousands of fans lit fires and threw objects in protest at the home team's show.

The referee halted Saturday's second-leg qualifying match with about 14 minutes to go and the visiting Ivorians 2-0 up thanks to two goals from former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, the second from the penalty spot.

Both teams were then escorted out of the ground by security forces.

It is likely the result will stand but there was no immediate confirmation from the Confederation of African
Football organisers.

Victory would send the Ivorians through to the finals in South Africa in January and eliminate Senegal.

Five or six people were carried from the stadium on stretchers after the rioting while hundreds of Ivory Coast fans were huddled together on the field being guarded by police as clashes continued in the streets outside, said an eyewitness to Reuters news agency.

Captain Drogba, who now plays his club football in China for Shanghai Shenhua, had put his team 1-0 in front straight from a free kick early in the second half.

The Ivorians beat Senegal 4-2 in the first leg on home soil in Abidjan last month.

Source: Agencies