Sunday, 3 February 2013

Nigeria beat favourites Ivory Coast to reach Africa Cup of Nations semi-final

Nigeria have sealed their place in the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-1 win over the Ivory Coast.

Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike takes a free kick to score the opening goal of the match against Ivory Coast on February 3, 2013

Emmanuel Emenike had the first genuine chance of the tie after Ideye Brown fed the ball to him, but he mis-hit the finish to send the ball well high of the crossbar.

However, Emenike made amends for the miss just before half time, firing the ball past Boubacar Barry directly from a free kick on the edge of the penalty area to put Nigeria ahead.

Ivory Coast found themselves in some strong positions during the opening 45 minutes, but lacked accuracy in front of goal.

An aggressive start to the second half saw the Elephants awarded a free kick in a dangerous position for a foul on Didier Drogba.

The ball is floated in to the box, where Chieck Tiote is unmarked, and heads the ball in to the back of the net for his first international goal to level the scores.

Gervinho and Didier Drogba celebrates their team's equaliser against Nigeria on February 3, 2013

Both sides pushed hard for a winner, but it was the Super Eagles who edged ahead, Sunday Mba lashing a 20-yard strike in to the Ivory Coast goal inside the final 15 minutes.

The Ivorians kept searching for an equaliser deep in to injury time, but they were unable to beat the Nigeria defence again.

Nigeria will face Mali in the last four on Wednesday.

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