Drogba does the business for Ivory coast

Chelsea star Didier Drogba fired the Ivory Coast into the African Nations Cup final as they overcame Nigeria 1-0 in Alexandria today.

The £24m striker was gifted a simple chance to score in the 47th minute and made no mistake as the Elephants continued to upset the odds by reaching only their second-ever final.

The Super Eagles were second best for much of the contest and teenage prodigy John Obi Mikel, who has expressed his desire to join Drogba at Stamford Bridge, was largely a spectator as Nigeria were denied their third final in 12 years.

Drogba even took time out of the Ivorians’ exuberant victory celebrations to console Mikel at the final whistle.

Nigeria sent on Bolton star Jay-Jay Okocha to make possibly his final international appearance.

He replaced Mikel – the man tipped to succeed him as the creative talisman in the side – and within five minutes struck a 30-yard free-kick which was gratefully claimed by Ivory Coast goalkeeper Jean-Jacques Tizie.

Nigeria continued to press for an equaliser in the closing stages but the Elephants were in tireless mood, led by Drogba, who made a number of timely interventions as he helped out in defence.

The win is bad news for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who desperately wants Ivory Coast defenders Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue back to boost his weakened defence.

More in this Section

The Daily Donal: Japanese hand a warning to SchmidtThe Daily Donal: Japanese hand a warning to Schmidt

Villa boss Smith excited about another ‘chess match’ with Gunners boss EmeryVilla boss Smith excited about another ‘chess match’ with Gunners boss Emery

Rugby World Cup Newsletter Day 2 - Heavyweight clash dominates Day 2 of Rugby World CupRugby World Cup Newsletter Day 2 - Heavyweight clash dominates Day 2 of Rugby World Cup

Midfielder Mount may make match against LiverpoolMidfielder Mount may make match against Liverpool


Gráinne Healy only started running regularly a few years ago. She’s already completed 50 parkruns. She tells Rowena Walsh what motivates her.Ageing with Attitude: Parkruns and quiet Friday nights

Against popular wisdom and flying a plane made from bamboo, wire and bike handlebars, a Co Antrim woman blazed a sky trail for aviation and for the independence of women, writes Bette BrowneMagnificent Lilian Bland blazed a trail for independence of women in her plane of bamboo

The epic battle for the bridge at Arnhem, as depicted in the blockbuster 'A Bridge Too Far', saw the Allies aim to end the war by Christmas 1944, but failed as a huge airborne assault force failed to take the last bridge across the Rhine. In an extract from his latest book 'A Bloody Week', Dan Harvey tells the story of one of the hundreds of brave men from Ireland who gave their all to the Allied campaignThe bridge to war: Dan Harvey's new book looks at the Irish who went a bridge too far

Several days ago, the long-awaited sequel to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was released.Lindsay Woods: I have always consumed books at a furious pace

More From The Irish Examiner