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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 October 2005, 19:43 GMT 20:43 UK
Ivory Coast defy the odds
Didier Drogba celebrating with members of the Ivorian team
Didier Drogba (centre) and his colleagues will be at the World Cup finals
Ivory Coast earned their passage to their first World Cup finals, after Cameroon failed to beat Egypt on Saturday.

Cameroon - who had secured leadership of Group Three after beating Ivory Coast 3-2 in Abidjan - needed to beat Egypt to secure qualification for Germany 2006.

But the failure of defender Pierre Wome to convert a penalty awarded in the 95th minute ensured Egypt got a 1-1 draw.

Ivory Coast, who were playing their final qualifier in Sudan, got a 3-1 win that made overall winners of the group.

It was a dramatic turn around in fortunes for the Ivorians, who had ceded the leadership of the group when Cameroon beat them at home in September.

The Indomitable Lions appeared to be on course for their fifth successive World Cup finals when Portugal-based striker Rudolph Douala scored in the 21st minute.

But a slip in defence late in the second half allowed Mohammed Shawky to equalise as the home side desperately appealed for offside.

Knowing the Ivorians were leading in Sudan, Cameroon launched a desperate effort to score, with substitute Pius Ndiefi missing a clear chance from close range.

Victory appeared to be in sight for Cameroon when Malian referee Komlan Coulibaly awarded a penalty after Salomon Olembe tumbled in the box.

Wome stepped up to take the kick but his powerful shot hit the post, leaving thousands of Cameroonian fans in shock at the stadium.

The result in Yaounde sent the Ivorians into a frenzy, as they realised that their victory in Sudan had secured a first-ever World Cup appearance.


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