Drogba leads Elephants comeback
Ivory Coast fought back to draw 2-2 with Algeria in Rustenburg to finish top of Group D to march-on in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals.
The result puts the title favourites on course for the finals but the Elephants must first negotiate Nigeria in Sunday's big last eight derby in Rustenburg.
Ivory Coast finished on seven points, three ahead of Togo who finished second on goal difference after a 1-1 draw with third placed Tunisia in Nelspruit today.
The first half was a fairly contested affair and Ivory Coast were lucky to come away with a draw. Ismael Traoré pulled Hilel Soudani down on the edge of the box to see Algeria win a penalty.
Ryad Boudebouz stepped up to take the resultant penalty but drove his attempt straight into right upright with Daniel Yeboah diving the right way.
Fifteen minutes later, Salomon Kalou also came close with a shot but skied his effort.
The end-to-end action continued and two minutes later when a Soudani shot was parried by Yeboah.
Drogba too got in on the act in the 26th minute with a rocketing free kick that flew over the wall and wide to the right.
Dutch top scorer Wilfried Bony too tested Algerian goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi with a hard shot before the two sides went scoreless into the break.
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Algeria returned from the break stronger as they pushed for their first goal and win of the competition in their formality match following their elimination.
Soudani came close with a 48th minute header but Yeboah saved it.
Then two minutes after the hour mark, ArthurBoka's handball off a Sofiane Feghouli shot handed Algeria their second penalty of the day.
Feghouli stepped up to take the resultant penalty and made no mistake although Yeboah again was unfortunate not to get a hand to the ball.
Feghouli later turned provider for Soudani in the 70th minute who thumped in a header to make it 2-0.
However Algeria’s lead was short-live and just five minutes later, Drogba led the Ivoirians' comeback with a header to make it 2-1.
Ten minutes from time Bony finally broke his Africa Cup duck with a thunderous shot from half way line midway inside Algeria’s area to make sure of the share of the points.
Bony was also fortunate to score after his shot took a bounce and deflected off Rafik Halliche into the back of the net.
Algeria:23-Rais M'Bolhi,6-Djamel Mesbah, 5-Rafik Halliche,4-Essad Belkalem,2-Mehdi Mostefa,7-Ryad Boudebouz (Sub: Sofiane Feghouli 62"),18-Khaled Lemmouchia (Sub: Saad Tedjar 87"),17-Adlene Guedioura,8-Medhi Lacen,15-Hilel Soudani (Sub: Foued Kadir 82"),9-Islam Slimani
Subs:1-Azzedine Doukha, 3-Liassine Cadamuro,11-Hameur Bouazza, 12-Carl Medjani,13-Mohamed Aoudia,16-Cedric Si Mohamed,19-Yacine Bezzaz, 21-Faouzzi Ghoulam,22-Ali Rial
Ivory Coast:16-Daniel Yeboah, 4-Kolo Touré,3-Arthur Boka,20-Igor Lolo (Sub: Emmanuel Eboué 84'),14-Ismael Traoré, 6-Christian Romaric (Sub:13-Didier Ya Konan 46"),
7-Abdul Razak, 11-Didier Drogba, 8-Salomon Kalou,2- Arouna Koné,12- Wilfried Bony
Subs:1-Boubacar Barry,5-Didier Zokora,9-Cheikh Tioté,10- Gervinho,15-Mark Gradel,17-Siaka Tiéné,18-Lacina Traoré,19-Yya Touré,22-Souleymane Bamba, 23-Badra Sangaré