Beaten finalists in 2012, the Elephants will have the chance to go one better against either Ghana or hosts Equatorial Guinea this weekend after goals from Yaya Toure, Gervinho and Wilfried Kanon helped the 1992 winners to victory. Dieumerci Mbokani’s penalty cancelled out Toure’s opener and although Dr Congo had several chances after falling 2-1 behind, their hopes receded late on.
The Leopards, two-time winners of the competition, could equal their best finish since last lifting the trophy in 1974 if they win the third place play-off.
Ivory Coast took the lead with the first proper sight at goal after 21 minutes. Wilfried Bony was tackled just inside the area but the ball broke kindly for Toure to launch a bullet strike past Robert Kidiaba.
But Florent Ibenge’s men levelled almost immediately, Mbokani making no mistake from the spot.
Gervinho gave Ivory Coast the lead again after 41 minutes, Bony playing through Gervinho, who slotted home a brilliant first-time effort.
Toure had a hand in his side’s third after 71 minutes. His corner was headed goalwards by Serge Aurier, Kanon finishing with his knee.
DR CONGO: Kidiaba, Mbemba, Kimwaki, Zakuani, Issama, Kasusula, Makiadi (Mubele 79), Cedrick (Kebano 70), Bolasie, Bokila, Mbokani (Kabananga 60).
IVORY COAST: Gbohouo, Aurier, Kolo Toure, Bailly, Tiene (Viera 72), Kanon, Die, Yaya Toure, Gradel (Kalou 62), Gervinho, Bony (Traore 90).
Referee: Neant Alioum.