The desert foxes of Algeria have eliminated the elephants of Ivory Coast after penalty shoot out in a very interesting quarter final clash this Thursday evening in Suez.
It took penalty shoot out to determine the difference between the two great football nations after goals within 90 minutes had left the sides tied on a one all score.
Veterans Wilfred Bony and Serey Die missed Ivory Coast penalties while Mohamed Youcef missed for the Algerians but they converted the other 4 to win by 4 successful penalties to 3.
As it happened:
16 Sylvain Gbohouo (Goalkeeper)
22 Mamadou Bagayoko (Defender)
6 Ismaël Traoré (Defender)
5 Wilfried Kanon (Defender)
2 Wonlo Coulibaly (Defender)
8 Franck Kessié (Midfielder)
18 Ibrahim Sangaré (Midfielder)
20 Serey Dié (Midfielder)
9 Wilfried Zaha (Forward)
14 Jonathan Kodjia (Forward)
15 Max Gradel (Forward)
23 Raïs M’Bolhi (Goalkeeper)
20 Youcef Atal (Defender)
2 Aïssa Mandi (Defender)
4 Djamel Benlamri (Defender)
21 Ramy Bensebaini (Defender)
17 Adlène Guédioura (Midfielder)
7 Riyad Mahrez (Midfielder)
10 Sofiane Feghouli (Midfielder)
22 Ismaël Bennacer (Midfielder)
8 Youcef Belaïli (Midfielder)
9 Baghdad Bounedjah (Forward)
Algeria was on the front foot from the off following an Ivory Coast kick off, Soufiane Fehgouli won a 2 minute set piece but it was wasted and 3 minutes later the Ivorians will hit the post from a fine long range from Max Alain Gradel and Zaha couldn’t tap in the follow up shot.
Zaha will come knocking again in the 7th minute after easily going pass Djamel Eddie but his cross from inside the box met non of his team mates.
In the 10th minutes Mohamed Youcef will carry Algeria forward from the left wing and put in a great ball to Baghdad Bounedjah but the forward took too much time on the ball and in attempting to pick a pass he gave away possession to the Ivory Coast.
The desert foxes then took charge of the ball and camped in the Ivorian half for 3 minutes with good collective football ending on the feets of Captain Riyad Mahrez who shot wide in the 15th minutes..
Max Alain Gradel took the Elephant to the other end of the pitch almost immediately and shot timidly into the hands of Rais Mbohli.
In the 16th minutes Max Alain Gradel won a set piece just outside the box but the execution created no danger for the vigilant Algerian defensive line.
Ivory Coast kept on pressing and in the 18th minutes Mamadou Bagayoko put in a wicked cross that was put wide by Kodjan.
A 20th Minute error from Mamadou Bagayoko gifted a chance to the Algerians and Soufiane Fehghouli unmarked inside the box punished the Ivorian with Algeria’s first goal of the day.
When play resumed the Algerians didn’t slow down. In the 21st minutes of play forward Baghdad found space in the right flank and decided to check in but unfortunately gave away possession.
A fine 26th minute run from Youcef Atal was stopped by a well timed tackle from Serge Wilfred Kanon.
Wilfred Zaha saw yellow for unsportsmanlike challenge on Selmani Rami
In the 30th minute Youcef Atal was replaced by Ismail Bennacer.
In the 33rd minute Max Alain Gradel made a fine solo run and got into the box but unfortunately he was stopped by the goal scorer Soufiane Fehgouli who won a set piece following a foul from Kodja.
Adlane Guediora foul Franck Kessie and from the 37th minute set piece the Ivorians got into the Algeria box with space but Djamel Eddine’s gave the Elephants a corner which was taken by Gradel and well saved by Rais.
A 39th minute Aerial duel between Die and Ismael Bennacer forced referee Bamlak Tessama to stop the game and issue a yellow card to the Algerian.
Into the last 5 minutes of the first half the Ivorians got more to think as right back Mamadou Bagayoko was booked for pulling Bennacer and stopping a counter attacking run from the midfield
A fine 45th minute solo run from Riyad Mahrez could have widen the lead for Algeria but unfortunately for their captain the ball wouldn’t just leave his leg.
In the 3 minute of additional time, Max Alain Gradel will put in a great shot from within the box but Rais Mbohli kept it.
Algeria will come close again through Baghdad but unfortunately for him the long range pass couldn’t meet him.
The beginning of the second half was quite dramatic as Algeria won a penalty in the first minute through Baghdad Bounedjah after he was brought down in the box by goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo.
The goalkeeper was booked by the referee but the striker stepped up to miss his own penalty.
Jonathan Kodja will force Rais Mbohli to work in the 49th minute after
In the 53rd minute Ivory Coast took out Central defender Serge Wilfried Kanon and introduced Cheick Komara.
In the 60th minutes Riyad Mahrez came close to scoring with a cross turn shot but the ball went wide.
A minute later Mahrez and Feghouli will combine again to good effect but the final connection was not in the box to give Algeria another goal.
A fast 61st minute run from Wilfred Zaha left the ball on the feet of Jonathan Kodja who made it 1 all in the 62nd minutes.
Algeria will came close again in the 66th minute through Baghdad Bounedjah but his range attempt was saved by the keeper.
Mamadou Bagayoko made a goal line clearance in the 69th minutes to deny Mahrez after his good combination with Soufiane have left him space.
A great run from Adlane in the 70th minute left the ball on the feet on Soufiane but his cross into the box couldn’t fine a mate.
Max Alain Gradel gave Wilfred Zaha a golden chance with a 75th minute cross that left him unmarked but Zaha could not direct his attempt on target
Baghdad will miss his last chance of the game in the 77th minute before leaving his place for Islam Slimani while Ibrahim Sangare stepped out for Jean Gbamin.
In the 78th and 79th minutes Ivory Coast created two good chances from the left and right wings but in both occasions they could not test goalkeeper Rais.
Adlane Guedioura will warm the gloves of Sylvain Gbohouo in the 82nd with a fine long range shot but the keeper was up to it.
A great Soufiane pass from the midfield played in Riyad Mahrez but quick thinking from the keeper helped him get to the ball before the forward.
Riyad Mahrez was replaced in the 85th minute by Adam Ounas and in his first run in the right wing he put the Algerian back line in difficulties.
Franck Kessie saw yellow in the 88th minute for a foul on the forward before a run from the resulting set saw Ounas go down and stay down expecting a penalty but referee Bamla said no foul.
In the 5 minutes of additional time it was all about Ounas’ runs in the right wing but lacking the final ingredients to kill the elephants.
A wonder 93rd minutes run from Zaha provoked a foul Djamel but the resulting free kick was wasted.
At 90 minutes it was 1 all requiring extra time to separate both sides.
First Half Extra time
Algeria in their usual strong start approach got an chance in the first minute but it was missed.
Ivory Coast brought Maxwell Cornet and Wilfried Bony within the first 5 minutes of additional time as they look to go for the killer.
There was a 98th minute VAR review after the Adlhane cleared a low cross out but the referee ended up giving just a corner.
101 minute set piece Ismael Bennacer was not well read by his team mate.
A 104th minute corner kick from Max Alain Gradel cause a scare in the Algerian box as the ball bounced off a couple of players before going out for a goal kick.
The last action of the game was a set piece into the Algerian but it was cleared for the first half stop.
In the second half of extra time a right wing run from Maxwell Cornet put in great bapp into the box but it was cleared by Mehdi Abeid.
In the 110 minutes Of the play goalkeeper Sylvain put in an interesting ball into the Algeria but but it was.
In the 114 Islam Slimani provoked Sylvain Gbohouo best safe of the game following great header.
With 3 minutes to go Ivory Coast had a great chance with a good ball in the box but the header went wide.
In the 118 minute the Algerians came close again but great defending from Ivory Coast stopped them.
Adam Ounas won a 120th minute dangerous set piece for the Algerians after Wilfried Bony gave away possession to the speedy forward.
A fine last set piece from Andy Delort was saved by Sylvain and the referee stopped the game for penalty shoot out.
At the end of 120 minute both sides needed penalty kicks to be separated.
After 5 penalty kicks each Algeria beat Ivory Coast by 5 penalty to 3 as Wilfred Bony and Serey Die missed for the elephants against Mohamed Youcef’s miss.
Algeria will face Nigeria in the final this weekend.
Angu Lesley in Suez.