Lister’s Lowdown: Didier & Yaya pave the way

Chris Lister's Lowdown

The Elephants are through to the semi-finals of AFCON thanks to outstanding performances by Drogba and Yaya Toure.  After having a penalty saved, Drogba more than made up for it by scoring a skillfully placed shot, followed by a stunning header from Yaya’s free kick.
Yaya himself secured the 3-0 victory against Equatorial New Guinea with an amazing thirty-foot free kick, which bent around the wall and smashed the top right hand corner of the net – genius!
Throughout the match the Elephants looked dangerous with the likes of Drogba, Gervinho and Max Gradel causing havoc up front.  I was particularly impressed with Gradel’s energy and drive to move forward.  If there was any doubt that the big players don’t prioritize these types of tournaments it was surely wiped out as Drogba celebrated with passion and heart after scoring his first goal.  You could literally feel Drogba’s pride and love for his nation.
As I was watching at 3 am (Singapore time), we lost the live feed to the action and the cameras filmed the crowd while the technical teams were trying to restore the main picture.  I was amazed by the positive smiles, vibrant colours and passionate celebrations throughout the match – something we should mention as a highlight of African football.  I just wanted to be there and experience it all for myself.
Equatorial Guinea looked threatening in spells, and Copa was called upon a few times, but managed to continue the Elephants’ clean sheet.  Bamba and Boka looked particularly lively and reliable at the back.  I was really pleased Zahouri chose to play Boka, as I think he is an experienced and dedicated professional.
I was surprised to see Tiene and Tiote left out of the team, but I guess they are being saved for the semis.  Two more games and the Elephants will be crowned African champions for the second time (their previous win was in 1992).  Can the golden generation finally achieve that goal?  We can only wait and see.

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