Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Africa

Didier Drogba © Action Images

Ivory Coast underline 'top Drog' status



Didier Drogba was among the scorers as Ivory Coast underlined their status as African Nations Cup favourites by overpowering Austria 3-0 in Wednesday's friendly internationals.

Most of the finalists failed to convince with the South Africa tournament now just two months away, but Ivory Coast had the look of potential continental champions.

Their victory, extending the team's unbeaten run to 22 matches, came after starting with an experimental line-up that saw both Yaya Toure and Drogba left on the bench.

However, defending champions Zambia served notice of their intention to fight to hold onto their title.

"We are not giving up this Nations Cup without a struggle," said coach Herve Renard after his side beat South Africa 1-0 in Johannesburg.

An Emmanuel Adebayor goal gave Togo a surprise 1-0 away victory in Morocco to send a reminder of their potential as spoilers while Nigeria beat Venezuela 3-1.

Nigeria's makeshift side included a debut for former England under-21 international Shola Ameobi.

All but two of the 16 finalists for the January 19 to February 10 tournament played on Wednesday, though the value of many of the games was undermined by a long list of player withdrawals.

Former Chelsea striker Drogba scored within two minutes of coming on with a long-range shot as the Ivorians fired a warning to their regional rivals.

They have been favourites for the last four Nations Cup tournaments but each time come up short, a record the Elephants will be keen to put straight while in such electric form.

Zambia, who beat the Ivorians in the last final in February, displayed a maturity befitting continental champions in beating South Africa with a 64th minute rocket from Collins Mbesuma.

"We are hungry and we want to win more," said Renard. "We will coming back to South Africa to defend our title."

However, Zambia's win was marred when goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene was injured by rocks thrown through the windows of the team bus as they left the stadium.

Nigeria will have deemed their decision to look at fringe players successful after debutant Ameobi set up a goal for fellow new boy Ogenyi Onazi in their win in Miami.

At 31, Ameobi is a late-comer to international football but now a strong candidate for Nations Cup selection, which will not please his club Newcastle United.

Algeria and Tunisia lost at home to European opposition on Wednesday.

Bosnia beat the Algerians with a stoppage-time goal while Switzerland beat 10-man Tunisia 2-1.

There were victories for Burkina Faso and Ghana, draws for Angola and Niger and a loss for the Demcratic Republic of Congo, who had several players withdraw from the squad at the last moment.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
Was Arsenal playing football?
What on earth was that? What was that game Arsenal were playing in Germany on Tuesday night?

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
The pressure is on at Man United
By the time the summer transfer window closed in Europe, Manchester United had spent heavily. Times...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Reds back in Europe with a win
The Champions League is all about high octane action and last minute goals and that’s exactly what...

John Dykes
Copa BPL is the way to go
Monday night’s game at the KC Stadium provided another reminder that 2014/2015 could well turn out...

Gary Al-Smith
What Appiah's axing says about Africans
Ghana boss Kwesi Appiah knew he would be sacked. He did not expect it to be so messy though.

Claudia Ekai
How the mighty fell
African football history tells many stories of the rise and fall of stars that once had the world...