After a good start for Zambia, Ivorians’ class starts to show
The Ivory Coast were starting to take control of the game and on 37 minutes they had another great chance to take the lead. Again it was created by Drogba who
spotted Gervinho in a good position and played a beautiful ball to the Arsenal man.
Gervinho was baring down on goal but under pressure from the Zambian defence he was unable to get a good connection on his shot.
Zambia didn’t get downhearted and captain Christopher Katongo led by example with some superb work to lose his marker on the edge of the area. He managed to get a shot in but scuffed his kick and the ball rolled harmlessly away.
Goalless at half time
The teams went into half time with the game still 0-0. Perhaps it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise that it was goalless because Zambia had only conceded three goals so far during the whole tournament and the Ivorians hadn’t conceded any.
Zambia would have been pleased with their first half performance. They were the better team at the start of the game and continued to pose a threat even when the Ivory Coast had started to take control.
The Ivory Coast dressing room would also have been reasonably happy. After a slow start they had grown into the game and gradually their superiority had started to show. They had created the better chances and must have felt the game was theirs for the taking.
Both sides look adventurous in the second half
The Ivory Coast started the second half looking more threatening. Gervinho was tormenting the Zambian defenders down the right of the penalty area but in the end he side footed the ball into the side netting with what seemed to be neither a cross or a shot.
In the 50th minute after more good work on the right Gervinho played an inviting ball into Drogba who was only stopped by a fabulous last ditch tackle from Stophira Sunzu.
Zambia were not afraid to go forward themselves and the Ivorian goal led a charmed life around the hour mark as pressure from Zambia led to a succession from which a speculative header almost looped into an empty net.
Drogba misses penalty
The best chance of the game came in the 70th minute when Gervinho was in full flight down the right hand side. He was brought down in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. It was cruel for Zambia but there could be no complaints about the decision.
Drogba stepped up to take the kick and to the astonishment of everybody watching he fired the ball over the bar and into the stands. It was a terrible miss, a clear foot over the bar and the Zambians were still in it.
More chances for both teams – Read more