Are Ivory Coast the new favourites after destroying Algeria?
AFCON 2021

Are Ivory Coast the new favourites after destroying Algeria?

The Elephants of Ivory Coast were totally dominant in their last Group E AFCON 2021 clash against Algeria at Stade Japoma on Thursday.

Ivory Coast who were less impressive in their first two group games turned up in a game they didn’t have to win to prove a point.

They were one of many punters pre-tournament favourites but their first two games against Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone not that impressive.

But they totally outclassed the defending champions Algeria today to send the holders packing and they topping the group with 7 points.

Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe spear-headed the team as the controlled the game from the start to the end. Ibrahim Sangare scored the first goal in the 22nd minutes when he headed in from Nicolas Pepe’s cross.

Ac Millan midfielder Franck Kessie scored a beautiful team goal in the 39th minutes for Ivory Coast’s second goal.

And Nicolas Pepe scored a beautiful bender in the 54th minutes to give Ivory Coast a 3-0 lead. Algeria had the chance to reduce the deficit when they were given a penalty in the 60th minutes but Man City star sent his effort crashing against the woodwork.

Substitute Sofiane Bendebka pulled one back for Algeria in the 73rd minutes but they were unable to force a draw let alone a win.

Sebastian Haller thought he scored his second of the tournament but his thumping header was ruled off in the last minutes of the game.

The 3-1 scoreline was not flattering as Ivory Coast total outclassed Algeria.

And like Austin Okocha said during his punditry duty on Super Sports, that Ivory Coast did what they had to do to send out signals to their rivals.

“They showed their quality today,” says Okocha

“Until now they have not performed to their maximum, but they showed today that they are part of the favourites.

“They looked a different team today.”

Cameroon, Nigeria and Ivory Coast have been some of the best teams so far in the tournament.

Tope Adefala

Tope Adefala is an experienced sports writer, editor, and web designer. A former editor at Sportlineng.com. Talks sports with a great bias for Basketball, Tennis, Field Hockey and Football. Presently the media officer of Nigeria Hockey Federation. I have been in the business of Sports communication and marketing for more than 10 years. Not forgetting that I won West African University Games, Nigeria University Games gold medals. You can find me on Twitter @1topham.

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