Posted January 26, 2013 on AP on Fox
Ivory Coast moved closer to the second round at the African Cup of Nations by beating Tunisia 3-0 despite captain Didier Drogba being stuck on the bench for most of Saturday's match. Gervinho opened the scoring after a one-two combination with Lacina Traore in the 21st minute, Yaya Toure doubled the lead with a powerful shot in the 87th and substitute Didier Ya Konan sealed the victory from inside the area in the 90th. Drogba, who had a lackluster performance in the team's opener, came on in the 67th but created few opportunities. The win may be enough to secure the Elephants a spot in the quarterfinals, depending on the result of the match between Algeria and Togo later Saturday. The Elephants have six points in Group D, while Tunisia stayed with three. Algeria and Togo were yet to win points. Ivory Coast will close against Algeria, and Tunisia will face Togo. Drogba, the biggest star entering the tournament, was surprisingly absent in the Ivory Coast lineup. He didn't appear injured and participated in warmup drills, but was not included by coach Sabri Lamouchi among the starters. He was replaced by Solomon Kalou. Drogba was quiet in the team's opening match, being substituted in the 74th minute. Didier Zokora was named the captain against Tunisia. Gervinho scored his second goal of the tournament after a corner on the left side. He picked up the ball just inside the penalty area and fed it to Traore, who quickly passed it back to him as he ran toward the goal and fired a shot into the top of the net. He also scored Ivory Coast's late winner in the 2-1 opening win against Togo. Toure, who also netted in the opener, added to the lead near the end by firing a hard shot inside the far post, and Ya Konan closed the scoring with an easy goal after a pass by Gervinho near the penalty spot. Kalou had a goal disallowed in the 56th after Gervinho was caught offsides before making a cross. Kalou was replaced in the 80th. Ivory Coast had struggled against Togo and Lamouchi had said that against Tunisia it would be just as important to see his team play better as it was to get the win. The Ivorians took control of the match from the start and improved from their disappointing opener. Tunisia barely got near Ivory Coast goalkeeper Boubacar Barry, who against Togo was forced to make several big saves. Tunisia tried to pressure more in the end and its main opportunity was a volley by Saber Khalifa from near the penalty spot in the 84th, prompting a close-range save by Barry. In addition to benching Drogba and midfielder Kolo Toure, Lamouchi made three other changes, adding Traore, Ndri Romaric and Tiote to the team. The Ivorians arrived in South Africa as the tournament favorites thanks to a squad led by Drogba and filled with Europe-based players. The western Africa country hasn't won the continental title since 1992. It was runner-up to Zambia last year in a final that ended in a penalty shootout. Tunisia also was coming off a last-minute victory in its opener, when it was outplayed during most of the match against Algeria but escaped with a 1-0 victory thanks to a goal in stoppage time. The team was without leading striker Issam Jemma, who sprained his knee against Algeria and will miss the rest of the tournament. --- Follow Tales Azzoni at http://twitter.com/tazzoni
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Gordon Hayward suffers gruesome injury in Celtics debut

Todd Frazier: Pressure is back on the Astros

Report: Court sides with Ezekiel Elliott, suspension lifted

Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic in hospital after practice fight with teammate

Ranking the 12 teams most likely to make the College Football Playoff

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joel Embiid calls minutes restriction ‘f—ing bulls—‘

Report: Meeting between NFL owners, players on anthem was very positive

Alex Smith calls Mike Mitchell hit ‘about as flagrant as it gets’

Chris Paul criticizes Clippers' culture, says he had ball too much

Ben Roethlisberger takes shot at reporter over Martavis Bryant rumor

Kyrie Irving will never divulge why he left Cavs: ‘That’s not what grown-ups do’

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

What's trending up, down so far in the NFL

Three Up, Three Down: Divisional Series brings both luck and heartbreak

The 'Adrian Peterson hopes to rise from the ashes in Phoenix' quiz

College football 2017 Week 7 predictions

Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

Three Up, Three Down: Divisional Series brings both luck and heartbreak

The 'Adrian Peterson hopes to rise from the ashes in Phoenix' quiz

What's trending up, down so far in the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker