Saturday, 10th June 2006
Drogba Goal Too Little Too Late
Argentina vs Ivory Coast
The only time Argentina played Côte d'Ivoire was in the Intercontinental Champions Cup
(King Fahd Cup - Saudi Arabia, 1992), the forerunner to the Confederations Cup - first
designated a FIFA competition in December 1997.
Four teams played in the 1992 Intercontinental Champions Cup
(Argentina, Saudi Arabia, USA and Côte d'Ivoire); Argentina beating Côte d'Ivoire (4:0)
on 16th October, with goals by Gabriel Batistuta (2), Ricardo Altamirano and Alberto
Côte d'Ivoire then lost to the USA in the third-place match, while
Argentina beat Saudi Arabia in the final.
Ivory Coast, in Orange, kick-off from right to left with the pace considerably slower than
the earlier Trinidad & Tobago vs Sweden match.
The only real early incident came in the 14th minute when Jean-Jacques
Tizie seemed to fumble Roberto Ayala's header. The Argentine thought the ball had entered
the airspace over the line, referee Frank De Bleeckere of Belgium disagreed. Replay
cameras couldn't really give a clear view either.
A run through the middle by Côte d'Ivoire's Didier Zokora, in the
20th minute, almost put Argentina's defence to the test; as the South Americans conceded
two corners in succession.
Juan Riquelme's 24th minute free-kick fell nicely into a confused
penalty area, for Hernan Crespo to put Argentina ahead.
Didier Drogba threatened to equalise for Ivory Coast just after the
half hour when he took a ball on his chest and tried to jiggle through into the Argentine
area. But the corner the Chelsea forward earned came to nothing.
Ivory Coast had another chance to equalise shortly before Saviola
scored Argentina's second goal. Riquelme's exact, offside-defeating, timed chip floated
into the middle of the penalty area, just out of reach of the advancing Tizie. Saviola got
The second half started with the same tactical cat and mouse play and
another yellow card for Argentina; Gabriel Heinze challenging Didier Drogba.
Argentina, happy to sit on their two-goal lead, slowed the tempo to
almost a standstill. With Didier Drogba closely watched by Heinze and Ayala, he failed to
make much of an impact up front for Côte d'Ivoire.
And then, with less than 10 minutes remaining, Didier Drogba pulled
the Ivory Coast back into the game; snapping onto a return ball in the middle of the
Argentina area. Too little, too late.
Argentina 2 - Ivory Coast 1
1:0 Hernan Crespo (24)
2:0 Javier Saviola (38)
2:1 Didier Drogba (82)
Our Man of The Match:
Juan Riquelme, whose vision provided the spark for both of Argentina's goals. An
honourable mention too for Didier Drogba, who carried Ivory Coast's hopes forward
Argentina: (Captain Juan Pablo
1 Roberto Abbondanzieri; 2 Roberto Ayala, 3 Juan Pablo Sorin,
6 Gabriel Heinze, 21 Nicolas Burdisso; 5 Esteban Cambiasso, 8 Javier
Mascherano, 10 Juan Riquelme, 18 Maxi Rodríguez; 7 Javier Saviola,
9 Hernán Crespo.
Ivory Coast: (Captain Didier
1 Jean-Jacques Tizie; 3 Arthur Boka, 4 Kolo Toure, 12 Abdoulaye Meite, 21 Emmanuel
Eboue; 2 Kanga Akale, 5 Didier Zokora, 19 Gneri Yaya Toure; 8 Bonaventure Kalou, 11
Didier Drogba, 18 Abdulkader Keita.
Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)
56 Mins (Ivory Coast) - 15 Aruna Dindane in for 8 Bonaventure Kalou
62 Mins (Ivory Coast) - 14 Bakari Kone in for 2 Kanga Akale
64 Mins (Argentina) - 14 Rodrigo Palacio in for 9 Hernán Crespo
76 Mins (Argentina) - 22 Luis Gonzalez in for 7 Javier Saviola
77 Mins (Ivory Coast) - 9 Arouna Kone in for 18 Abdulkader Keita
91 Mins (Argentina) - 16 Pablo Aimar in for 10 Juan Riquelme
41 Mins - Javier Saviola (Argentina)
49 Mins - Gabriel Heinze (Argentina)
62 Mins - Emmanuel Eboue (Ivory Coast)
81 Mins - Luis Gonzalez (Argentina)
90 Mins - Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
0 Red Cards.
2006 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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