Didier Drogba and company entered the stadium to great applause from the fans in the arena, but they were not able to deserve the acclaim after 90 minutes, as Burkina Faso stood fast and held them to a goalless stalemate.
The match began brightly for Ivory Coast, but great
goalkeeping from Daouda Diakité kept the World Cup bound side at bay, and that
would be the general theme of the match, as the ‘keeper would step up on a
number of occasions to stop the likes of Bakary Kone, Didier Drogba and Saloman
Drogba used his strength well up front, but he struggled to
breakdown a stubborn defence, and when he was able to do so Diakité collected
Kone was another thorn in the side of the Stallions, with his pace
and quick footwork turning into flashes of brilliance. But alas, his shots
would go agonizingly wide of the target.
Burkina Faso threatened with World Cup qualifying round top
scorer Moumouni Dagano, but he could not please his coach Paulo Duarte, though
the final result will no doubt have put a smile on his face, as the Elephants
were firm favourites to comfortably beat the minnows from Burkina Faso.
The game was aggressive at times, and despite two
controversial incidents that may have been called a penalty by another referee,
the official controlled the game relatively well and the sides played a
After four minutes of injury time and no one bulging the
back of the net, the game ended as hero of the game, goalkeeper Diakité put his
body on the line one last time to stop the onrushing Drogba in a final attempt
to put his name on the score sheet.
It seems that the underdogs are springing a few surprises so
far in this competition, and this result now puts added pressure on the showdown
between Ghana and Ivory Coast, considering the fact that Togo have pulled out
of the competition.
Peter Pedroncelli, Goal.com