The Lions of Atlas were able to bounce back each time they fell to the Elephants during their World Cup qualifying clash played in the city of Marrakech in Morocco on Saturday
Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire settled their 2014 World Cup qualifying clash in a 2-2 draw in Marrakech on Saturday, with the Elephants confirming their stranglehold on Group C, while the second position will be determined after the meeting between Tanzania and Gambia on Sunday.
Chelsea’s Salomon Kalou put the visitors in the lead eight minutes from time after connecting with a long pass laid by PSG’s Tiene Siaka and drifting deep before lobbing over the Atlas Lions goalkeeper Nadir Lemyaghri.
The Ivorians enjoyed ball possession thereafter with the home side attempting to keep them at bay, but the traffic changed direction after the half hour mark, with Morocco getting a foothold in the game, which gradually built up to the equaliser through a penalty after a ball ricocheted off Chieck Tiote’s arm inside the box.
Morocco captain Houcine Kharja successfully transformed the kick in the 39th minute to shift the momentum completely on their side.
Didier Drogba, Kalou and Gervinho missed a rash of goal scoring chances that could have put the game to bed before end of first half.
The second half commenced with a frenetic pace, with the Ivorians mostly on the ascendancy, in quest of a double to retake the lead. Manchester City’s Kolo Toure did it for his side near the hour mark after heading home a corner kick from Gervinho.
It was the Ivorian affair henceforth, as the hosts left themselves at the mercy of their visitors’ assaults, which unfortunately couldn’t increase the lead in favour of the west Africans.
Deep in stoppage time, Hamza Abourrouzouk grabbed the leveller for Morocco thanks to a close range header that sent Copa Barry the wrong way.
It was not a bad result for both coaches, as Sabri Lamouchi is still settling down at the helm of the Elephants while coach Eric Gerets heeded to warnings from the sport minister not to lose against Cote d’Ivoire.