Ghana Football FULL TIME: DR Congo 1-3 Cote d’Ivoire By sports5050 - 04.02.15 FULL TIME! Cote D’Ivoire are in the Africa Cup of Nations final! Les Elephants dispose of DR Congo in a 3-1 win, courtesy of goals from Yaya Toure, Gervinho and Kanon. A consolation goal from Mbokani wasn’t enough for Ibenge’s men, who will play Ghana or Equatorial Guinea in the next round! That’s all we have time for from Bata. 90′ + 2′ SubstitutionWilfried Bony Lacina Traore 90′ + 2′ Bony is withdrawn for Les Elephants, with Traore given the last couple of minutes to have a runout. Bailly is felled by a physical challenge, before taking his time to get back to his feet. 90′ Kasusula fires a terrible long-range effort way over the crossbar! There are three minutes of stoppage time. 89′ Issama wins a corner for DR Congo, with Kebano whipping in the ball. Kolo Toure heads clear, with Cote D’Ivoire defending incredibly deep! Gervinho is being left to chase lost causes up top alone. Kalou then gives away a free kick for a scrappy tackle on Kebano. Another chance for Ibenge’s men to load the box. 87′ Over the bar from Kanon! The left-back overlaps down the flank, beating Issama, before Kimwaki covers across well to pressure the shot from the Cote D’Ivoire goalscorer. He sends it hurtling into the stands. 85′ Five minutes are left on the clock for DR Congo to provide the mother of all comebacks, but it’s not looking likely. With Mbokani off the field, Ibenge’s men haven’t got a large presence to aim for. Cote D’Ivoire are looking comfortable. 83′ Almost a risky backpass from Aurier! The right-back flicks a header back towards his own goalkeeper, but Kebano and Bokila almost manage to get there ahead of Gbohouo! Some unorthodox goalkeeping gets the ball in the Cote D’Ivoire man’s grasp. 81′ Kebano takes down a cross from the left-hand side, before turning brilliantly to open up some space for a shot! It’s charged down with DR Congo winning a corner. Cote D’Ivoire are happy to sit back and defend deep, but it could work against them should Ibenge’s men pile delivery after delivery into the box. 80′ Mubele takes to the field for DR Congo, with Makiadi leaving proceedings, possibly due to his earlier yellow card. Ibenge is all out of gambles now, with the coach having faith that his current 11 can turn this one around. 79′ SubstitutionCedrick Makiadi N. Mubele 78′ Bokila goes close! The DR Congo man drifts in from the right-hand side, before curling a left-footed effort high and wide of the far corner! It spirals over the crossbar with Gbohouo confident. 76′ Yellow CardSerge Aurier 76′ Aurier manages to break into the penalty box, but Kasusula hacks a hurried clearance away. The PSG man is booked for taking too long with the resulting throw in, as the referee considers him to be timewasting. 74′ Bolasie appears to be the only man capable of dragging DR Congo back into this fixture, with the Crystal Palace man delivering some teasing crosses from the left-hand side. Cote D’Ivoire are happy to sit back in numbers on the edge of their own box. Kebano whips in a cross towards the near post, but Gbohouo punches clear. 72′ SubstitutionSiaka Tiéné Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba 72′ DR Congo have less than 20 minutes to pull this back, with Cote D’Ivoire looking to have one foot in the Africa Cup of Nations final. Kabananga turns an attempted finish goalwards, after a cross in from Bolasie! It doesn’t go in, with the substitute booked for using his hand to try and grab a goal back! 71′ Yellow CardJ. Kabananga 70′ Yellow CardG. Serey Die 70′ Kebano has been introduced for DR Congo in place of Mabwati, with Ibenge’s men getting rather desperate. The substitute is felled by a strong tackle from Die immediately, which earns the Cote D’Ivoire midfielder a yellow card. Rather cynical stuff. 69′ SubstitutionCedric Neeskens Kebano 68′ GoalW. Kanon GOOOOOOOOOAL! KANON BUNDLES HOME! Aurier meets a corner delivery with a bullet header, which Kidiaba beats away courtesy of his own reflexes! The rebound falls to the Cote D’Ivoire left-back, who cushions an improvised finish with his knee into the ceiling of the net! That could be it! 67′ Yellow CardJean Kasusula Kiritsho 67′ Great challenge from Kimwaki! The central defender slides in to make an excellent block, denying a cross in from the right-hand side. Kasusula then picks up a booking for a hack at Bony’s calf, after a neat ballroll from the Cote D’Ivoire striker. From the resulting free kick, Gervinho is fed in down the right flank, but Zakuani slides in to make a good tackle which has left him rather sore. 65′ Mbokani is brooding on the substitute’s bench and can only watch on as his nation attempt to turn this game around in less than half an hour of normal time. Since the half-time interval, they have struggled to test Gbohouo, it must be said. 63′ DR Congo are desperately pumping the ball upfield in a direct manner, bypassing their defensive shield of Makiadi and Mbemba entirely. Cote D’Ivoire look far more assured in possession, with their formation giving their players plenty of options on the ball. 62′ SubstitutionMax-Alain Gradel Salomon Kalou 61′ SubstitutionMbokani J. Kabananga 61′ Mbokani is substituted for DR Congo, with the Dynamo Kyiv striker not looking very happy whatsoever. Kabananga is introduced in his place. Meanwhile, Kalou warms up for Cote D’Ivoire. 60′ Kidiaba makes an important stop! Yaya drives from the edge of the penalty area, bursting past Makiadi as though he wasn’t even there! Without any orange shirts to aim for with a cross, the Manchester City midfielder unleashes another rocket, but the DR Congo goalkeeper was equal to it at his near post! 59′ Gradel whips a cross in from the left, before Zakuani heads clear. The loose ball falls to Serey Die, who shoots from 30 yards optimistically, with the midfielder’s shot easily blocked. Cote D’Ivoire are looking potent while breaking, Gervinho’s pace is causing all kinds of issues. 57′ Mabwati tries to find Bolasie with an incisive pass, but it doesn’t make its way to the left winger’s feet. The DR Congo wide man is being given far more freedom this side of half time, cutting inside and roaming freely. It does make his team look a little narrow at times, however. 55′ YAYA TOURE GOES CLOSE! Aurier goes on a great run, beating several players, before losing control of possession in the box! The loose ball stays in the hands of Cote D’Ivoire, before Yaya sends a low drive zipping just beyond the far upright! 53′ Brilliant work from Bolasie! The Crystal Palace winger drives down the left, before cutting inside and racing across the face of the penalty area. When the gap appears, he takes aim, but Gbohouo makes a good save with his feet, with Bokila and Mbokani unable to reach the rebound! 52′ Bony asks for a penalty, after being tugged slightly by Zakuani, but the referee isn’t interested whatsoever. Cote D’Ivoire whip a free kick in from the right-hand side, but Bony diverts a powerful header high and wide of the target. Good ball in from Yaya again! 50′ Great interception from Kasusula! The left-back tracks back well to prevent a clipped pass from Gervinho making its way into the path of Bony. Bolasie then tries to break down the right, but is dealt with well by Bailly. Cote D’Ivoire counter themselves, but a cross from Gervinho is beaten behind by Kidiaba. 49′ Wide from Aurier! The wing-back overlaps beyond Gradel, but can only send an effort from a tight angle veering out of play for a throw in on the far side. At least he’s finally on the field. 47′ Bizarrely, Aurier comes onto the field a minute late in comparison to the rest of his teammates. After kick off, the former Toulouse man scrampers onto the pitch sheepishly. Mabwati sees a shot charged down the edge of the box, before Bolasie sees a shot blocked well by Gbohouo. 46′ We are back underway in the second half in Estadio de Bata! Cote D’Ivoire hold a 2-1 lead over DR Congo, with Renard’s men looking likely to take the step into the Africa Cup of Nations final this evening! Plenty can change in the next 45 minutes, however. HALF TIME! The referee blows his whistle to signal the end of an entertaining first half in Bata! A Yaya Toure thunderbolt opened the scoring from the edge of the box, before Mbokani levelled from the penalty spot moments later. Gervinho struck the bar, before putting Les Elephants back in front with a curling finish five minutes the close. Be sure to stick around for the second-half action, this promises to be a cracker! 45′ + 1′ We’re into the first of two minutes of first-half stoppage time. 45′ Great challenge from Kasusula! Bony plays a wondrous ball around the corner, allowing for Gervinho to race in behind the DR Congo back four! The opposition left-back matches him stride for stride, however, before sliding in to make a good interception inside his own penalty area! He had to get that right. 44′ Good enough from Kasusula! Tiene whips in the free kick from the left-hand side, but the DR Congo left-back is confident enough to allow the delivery to arc out of play on the far side for a throw in. 43′ Only a few minutes remain of the first half, with Gbohouo already keen to take as much time over his kicks as possible. Issama then gives a free kick away on the right-hand side for DR Congo. 41′ AssistWilfried Bony 41′ GoalGervinho GOOOOOOOOOOAL! GERVINHO MAKES IT 2-1 TO COTE D’IVOIRE! The former Arsenal forward capitalises on a mistake in the DR Congo midfield, with the Roma man found in acres of space on the left flank by Bony. All he has to do is curl a finish into the far corner, but Kidiaba might feel as though he could have done better! 40′ Five minutes remain until the break, with Bokila breaking dangerously into the box! Kolo Toure covers across brilliantly to put in a fantastic sliding tackle! Cote D’Ivoire counter, but a cross from the right-hand side clips the underside of the bar! Gervinho makes good contact with a back post header, but it avoids bouncing over the line due to a bit of help from Zakuani! 38′ Big chance for Mbokani! Bolasie shows a turn of pace to beat Bailly and break to the left byline, before cutting back an intelligent cross. The former Anderlecht man meets it at the back post, forcing Gbohouo into a fairly comfortable parry. 37′ Die wins back another loose ball in midfield, as he continues to provide some grit and tenacity in the middle third. Kanon sends a long ball spiralling towards Gervinho, but Kimwaki is able to head clear. 35′ Yaya has a go, courtesy of a 35-yard free kick opportunity, but the ball bounces once and skids a few yards wide of the left-hand post. Kidiaba is confident enough to allow the ball to roll behind of its own accord. 34′ Cote D’Ivoire’s system is allowing for Renard’s team to have more possession, but they aren’t penetrating too often. Makiadi picks up a yellow card for a scrappy tackle on Bony. 32′ Gbohouo has a bit of treatment, with the Cote D’Ivoire goalkeeper tended to by a couple of physios. After the opening quarter of an hour, he hasn’t been tested much whatsoever. He appears to have had a bit of tape wrapped around his right ankle. 30′ Tiene curls an in-swinging cross in from the left, but Kidiaba is able to come out a few yards and catch. This continues to be an enthralling contest, with Cote D’Ivoire’s 3-5-2 system allowing for Tiene and Aurier to overlap regularly. 28′ Yellow CardYaya Touré 28′ Great sliding challenge from Yaya! The Cote D’Ivoire captain throws himself into a fierce tackle on the edge of the box, to deny a shooting opportunity for Bolasie. Les Elephants then break, but a good foot in from Zakuani denies Bony. 26′ Yellow CardW. Kanon 26′ There have been two key moments in this game, both of which have resulted in the ball nestling in the back of the net. Yaya had one ball bobble out to him near the edge of the box, before Mbokani had his first chance of the game from the spot. This could be a contest of fine margins! 24′ Penalty GoalMbokani GOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! MBOKANI FIRES HOME THE EQUALISER! The former Anderlecht striker holds his nerve to tuck a low penalty finish into the bottom-right corner, even though Gbohouo guessed the right way! 23′ PENALTY FOR DR CONGO! The referee points to the spot, penalising Bailly for a handball! It clearly strikes his wrist, but that might be just a touch harsh! 22′ What a thunderous way to open the scoring! DR Congo have no option but to go searching for an equaliser now, with Kidiaba looking rather shellshocked. They have to react and quickly, as Cote D’Ivoire’s captain has stood up to be counted! 21′ AssistWilfried Bony 21′ GoalYaya Touré GOOOOOOOOOOOAL! YAYA TOURE GIVES HIS SIDE THE LEAD! It’s a complete rocket, with the Cote D’Ivoire captain blasting a 20-yard effort right beyond the outstretched gloves of Kidiaba! That goalkeeper had absolutely no chance! What a strike that was! 18′ The corner delivery is whipped in, but scrambled clear, with Bolasie making sure with a hack upfield. Cote D’Ivoire are starting to settle down on the ball, with Gervinho looking dangerous when travelling at pace. 17′ Cote D’Ivoire move the ball from right to left well, before Gervinho breaks to the left byline and wins his side a corner. Kidiaba claims that the ball had already headed out of play, but the referee points over to the corner flag regardless. 15′ Kasusula gives away a free kick for blocking off Aurier as the Cote D’Ivoire right-back looked to overlap out wide. The free-kick delivery is whipped in by Yaya, but cleared easily at the front post, before Serey Die blasts the rebound some way wide of the target! 13′ Cote D’Ivoire are looking to be more patient in possession, while DR Congo opt towards sending their pacey players on mazy dribbles from deep areas. Kolo Toure sends a long ball forward in search of Bony, but it’s too heavy and bobbles through for Kidiaba to collect. 11′ Mabwati takes a shot from 25 yards out, but the right winger sees his effort take a slight deflection and spiral behind for a corner. DR Congo are putting on the early pressure. The set piece is flighted in towards Kimwaki, but the central defender can only divert a terrible effort straight out for a goal kick. 10′ Cote D’Ivoire haven’t managed to give Bony much of the ball in the opening ten minutes, meaning that Les Elephants haven’t created anything to test Kidiaba. DR Congo have worked the opposition goalkeeper at times, but the bulk of play has been within the middle third of the field. 8′ This has been a very competitive opening eight minutes, with both sides seeing their fair share of the ball. Mbokani holds the ball up before finding Makiadi, but the Werder Bremen midfielder can only curl a 25-yard effort well wide of the far upright! 6′ Good save from Gbohouo! The Cote D’Ivoire shot-stopper manages to deal with a close-range effort from Bokila, after the DR Congo man outmuscled Bailly. He parries it away to Mbokani, who sees a shot deflected behind for a corner, which is cleared with ease. 4′ Poor header from Aurier! Tiene manages to clip a cross towards the back post from the left-hand side, but the PSG wing-back is unable to divert an effort towards goal. It bobbles behind for a goal kick. 2′ Fantastic run from Mabwati! The DR Congo winger races down the right-hand side, before taking too strong of a touch. Bailly is able to come across his marker and shield the ball behind for a goal kick. Great pace on show already, though! 1′ We are underway in Bata! Both of these sides are incredibly close to featuring in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final, which might lead to some caginess in the early stages, but these nations have the offensive options to make this contest very entertaining indeed! Cote D’Ivoire substitutes: Barry, Viera, Assale, Doukoure, Doumbia, Kalou, Tallo, Akpa Akpro, Diomande, Traore, Sayouba. Cote D’Ivoire starting line-up (4-4-2): Gbohouo; Aurier, Bailly, K. Toure, Kanon; Gradel, Serey Die, Yaya Toure, Tiene; Bony, Gervinho. DR Congo substitutes: Oualembo, Munganga, Mulumbu, Kage, Kebano, Mabele, Kabananga, Kudimbana, Mongongu, Mabidi, Mubele, Mandanda. DR Congo starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Kidiaba; Issama, Kimwaki, Zakuani, Kasusula; Mbemba, Makiadi; Bokila, Mabwati, Bolasie; Mbokani. TEAM NEWS: Wilfried Bony and Gervinho provide menace up top for The Elephants, with Siaka Tiene and Max Gradel offering service from out wide. Yaya Toure and Serey Die will battle in the centre of the park, as Herve Renard opts for a completely unchanged eleven. Unsurpising, given that Cote D’Ivoire disposed of one of the tournament favourites in the previous round of action. TEAM NEWS: DR Congo are missing their captain Youssef Mulumbu for this clash, with Gabriel Zakuani managing to recover from an injury in the last round to feature at centre-back. Dieumerci Mbokani will lead the line, with Yannick Bolasie, Cedric Mabwati and Jeremy Bokila providing the ammunition for the Dynamo Kyiv forward. Joel Kimwaki gets a start following his important goal last time out, but otherwise Ibenge’s men are unchanged.