Wilfried Bony’s Brace Sees Ivory Coast Through

Wilfried Bony struck twice to see Ivory Coast clinch a 3-1 victory over Algeria to secure the final spot in the semi finals of the Africa Cup of Nations at Nuevo Estadio de Malabo on Sunday night.  The two African giants showed they mean business from the onset looking to find the match opener.  After several attempts by either side, the Ivorians finally made one count through Bony in the 26th minute.

The Manchester City goal poacher was at the end of a superb Max Gradel cross and made no mistake.  The Desert Foxes tried to claw their way back into the match with half-cooked attempts but nothing came of it.  Gradel and Bony continued to link well upfront but only one goal would come of their partnership in the first stanza as the half ended 1-0.

The second stanza was a close contest with both teams forcing each other into giving away fouls in dangerous areas.  Christian Gourcuff’s troops regrouped and rekindled their fire going forward and reaped the rewards in the 51st minute when Hilal El Soudani unleashed a superb left footed shot to make it 1-1.  The Elephants failed to score when an opportunity presented itself in the 64th minute as Serge Aurier dragged his shot wide, however it didn’t take too long for the West Africans to strike again.

Bony grabbed his second of the night feasting on a Yaya Toure assist to make 2-1 in the 68th minute.  The lacklustre Algerians tried helplessly to bounce back into the match and provide a dramatic end to a memorable football encounter but it wasn’t to be as Gervinho added another goal in favour of Hervé Renard’s troops in the 94th
minute.  It would end 3-1 in Malabo as the 1992 champions set up a clash in the semi-finals against the Democratic Republic of Congo.