Sudan squeeze through behind Ivory Coast

Didier Drogba and co are clear Group B winners as Sudan make the quarter-finals by the skin of their teeth.

    Mudather Tayeb scored twice for Sudan ensuring that they took second place in Group B [Reuters] 

    Angola, needing a point to reach the African Nations Cup quarter-finals, were eliminated on Monday after losing 2-0 in their final game to Ivory Coast who had fielded a largely reserve team.

    Emmanuel Eboue put the Ivorians ahead after 32 minutes and Wilfried Bony tapped in the second just after the hour following a blunder by defender Dani Mussunguna, who headed the ball over his own goalkeeper leaving him stranded.

    Angola, who were twice close to pulling a goal back, finished level on four points in Group B with Sudan, who beat
    Burkina Faso 2-1, but were eliminated on goal difference.

    "The real relief will be to win the title. We'll keep our feet on the ground"

    Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui

    Ivory Coast had already qualified and topped the group with maximum points from three games, which they completed without conceding a goal.

    Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui, while relieved to see his side progress, said: "The real relief will be to win the title. We'll keep our feet on the ground. I'll be happy when we have achieved our aim of bringing pleasure to the Ivorian people.

    "We want to make it to the end, otherwise a couple of wins doesn't mean anything."

    Angola manager Jose 'Lito' Vidigal reflected: "It was really difficult and we worked very hard to go through.

    "We had lots of problems to qualify for this Nations Cup, but I'd like to thank all our fans.

    "We were up against a very strong Ivory Coast side who are going to go far in this tournament."

    One goal margin

    Sudan advanced into the quarter-finals, their 2-1 win over Burkina Faso handing them second place in Group B by the slimmest of margins.

    Two goals by Mudather Tayeb ensured Sudan a first win in 42 years at the tournament.
    Sudan, who finished with a level goal difference compared to Angola's minus one, will meet Zambia in the first quarter-final in Bata on Saturday.

    They rode their luck to end a run of 11 games without victory at the finals, overcoming an early collision that cost
    them a key defender, a strong penalty appeal for their opponents and a disallowed effort by Burkina Faso.

    Burkina Faso substitute Issiaka Ouedraogo pulled a goal back with virtually the last touch of the match after he had missed two gilt-edged chances, the first early in the second half with just the goalkeeper to beat and the second late in the game when he actually went round the goalie but still hacked wide.

    Tayeb scored against the run of play in the 33rd minute to give Sudan the lead.

    With 10 minutes left he scored a second, taking advantage of comical goalkeeping from Daouda Diakite, who hesitated to clear a long ball allowing Tayeb to steal the ball and score the easiest of goals.

    Sudan lost defender Nagmaldien Abdullah after a horror clash with his own goalkeeper Akram El Hadi Salem in the sixth minute and were fortunate to see the referee fail to award a penalty for Jonathan Pitroipa after 20 minutes.

    Burkina Faso, who lost all three matches, fielded 16-year-old Chelsea academy player Bertrand Traore as a second
    half substitute, making him the third youngest player in the history of the tournament.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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