Football

Ivory Coast romp to AFCON final

Ivory Coast romped to the final of the 2015 AFCON tournament with a devastating 3-1 victory over DR Congo.

Yaya Toure hardly finished celebrating his first goal of the tournament which was an absolute screamer before the Congo's equalising penalty later in the first half.

A sweet little curl by Gervinho restored the Elephants lead before a knee-poked-goal by Kanom put the game beyond the reach of the Leopards.

While the results appear lopsided the game was just the opposite.

Feisty, pacey and hugely physical but in the end it was the golden generation of the Ivorian team which has another shot at winning a trophy which has eluded them since 1992.

The Leopards were not going to be pushovers despite the intimidating credentials of the Ivorian team and their intent to fight was well underlined by Bolasie.

Despite the opening exchanges it was Yahya Toure who led by example with an absolute cracker in the 19th minute

The Manchester City midfielder and reigning African player of the year latched onto a poorly cleared ball, wrapped his foot around it before unleashing a thunderbolt which left Kidiaba completely beaten.

But the celebration of Toure was cut shot two minutes later with a penalty coolly taken by Bokani.

The referee wasted no time by pointing to the spot when a cross bounced off the hand of the Ivorian defender and Bokani made no mistake at all with that.

The Leopards had a great opportunity to increase the tally but Bokani's shot at goal was deflected and later parried for a corner by Sylvain Gbohouo.

In the 39th minute Gervinho had beaten Kidiaba with a towering header but was stopped from jubilating when the Leopards' defender leapt and headed the ball away to safety. It took a little bounce off the underside of the bar before it was finally cleared to safety.

Without the benefit of a goal line technology the referee wave off the Ivorian protests and shouts of goal.

A minute later Gervinho would make it count when he connected a teasing pass from Winfired Boni.

It was three strikers against two defenders and Gervinho punished the Leopards for leaving their defence ajar.

For a team that came back from a two goal deficit to win by four goals to two against neighbours, Congo, the game was far from over and the Leopards showed signs of a comeback.

It was Bolassie who was always a slippery customer with his incisive runs on the flanks and superb crosses but there was nobody to connect for most parts.

In the 68th minute Kanom knocked the ball home from a rebound with his knee, a goal that broke the back and hearts of the Leorpards and sent the Elephants into the final of the AFCON 2015.

They look forward to playing either Ghana or host Equatorial Guinea.

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