Ivorians have Senegal advantage
Cote d’Ivoire have emerged 4-2 victors over Senegal in a pulsating 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Abidjan on Saturday night.
The Ivorians twice had to come from behind in the game, before two late goals gave them some breathing space for the return in Dakar next month.
It might have been worse for the Teranga Lions too as Didier Drogba had a goal disallowed late on that might have put the tie beyond doubt.
Senegal were ahead on 35 minutes when Dame N’Doye blasted home a thunderous shot, much to the disbelief of the home crowd. That was just the second time that Cote d’Ivoire had conceded at home in seven years.
But just before halftime the Elephants found an equaliser, Salomon Kalou netting after some hesitant defending from the visitors.
Papiss Cisse put Senegal back in front on the hour-mark, but once again they were unable to hold on to their advantage.
Gervinho’s shot crashed home off the crossbar to make it 2-2, and suddenly all the momentum was with the home side again.
Jacques Faty was adjudged to have fouled
Gervinho in the penalty area and Didier Drogba coolly slotted home the spot-kick.
And it was 4-2 with five minutes remaining as Max Gradel’s shot took a wicked deflection and looped into the net.
Drogba though he had added a fifth in the dying seconds, but his effort was ruled out by the match officials.