Ivory Coast team full of stars at the world’s biggest clubs
Despite being underdogs, Zambia started the game much more brightly than Ivory Coast. They won a corner in the first minute that almost led to a goal. The corner was played low into the box by Rainford Kalaba.
The Zambians worked the ball well towards Nathan Sinkala who struck a good shot towards the bottom corner of the goal from just inside the area. Ivory Coast goalkeeper, Boubacar Barry was equal to it and did well to hold the ball.
Heartbreaking injury for Musonda
There was a heartbreaking moment for Joseph Musonda after ten minutes. The 34 year old Zambian defender was playing the biggest game of his life and did well to intercept a Kalou pass before it reached Drogba but he injured his ankle in the process and had to be substituted.
He was in tears as he left the field, knowing that this was the last time he would have a chance to play in a game of such importance. He was consoled by several of his team mates as he walked off and even Drogba was moved to put team rivalries to one side and put a consolatory arm around his opponent.
Zambia kept attacking and after 13 minutes they carved out another good chance. A long throw into the area from Davies Nkausu was not cleared by the Ivory Coast defence and the ball fell for Lungu who scooped the ball on to the head of Mayuka. Mayuka directed a looping header goalwards but it wouldn’t come down quickly enough and it landed on the roof of the net with the goalkeeper stranded.
Both sides began to pose a threat
On 20 minutes, Ivorian full back, Siaka Tiene, hit a curling freekick from the edge of the area. It was on target but not quick enough to beat Kennedy Mweene in the Zambia goal.
A few minutes later Zambia also came close to scoring from a free kick. Kalaba struck the ball 30 yards from goal but it flew wide of the post after taking a deflection off Tiote.
The Ivory Coast came forward again and Drogba reminded everyone how dangerous he is by reacting first to a short corner and hitting a shot that deflected just wide.
End to end attack
Both sides continued to search for the breakthrough goal and both hit long range shots within a minute of each other. First Kalaba attempted to curl in a left foot shot but he hit the ball far too softly and close to Barry. Then Yaya Toure blasted a shot well wide from 30 yards out.
Ivory Coast’s best chance of the first half came after half an hour when a clever back heel by Drogba set up Yaya Toure in the area. It was a great chance but the Manchester City midfielder dragged his shot wide of the far post. Drogba is a handful for the Zambians – Read more