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banner Tuesday, 29 January, 2002, 18:54 GMT
DR Congo smash into quarter-finals
Ivory Coast team
Ivory Coast will be sheepishly running back home
Group C: DR Congo 3-1 Ivory Coast

DR Congo saved by far their best performance of the tournament so far to annihilate Ivory Coast and put themselves through to a quarter-final, probably against Senegal.

Goals from Yvos, Nonda and Komoto shot down the Elephant's defence and secured the Simbas' passage.

At least, however, Kandia scored a very late consolation which means that Ivory Coast do not go home without having found the net.

But DR Congo seemed to be in control of the match from the moment that they had the ball in the net in the fourth minute.

That effort was ruled offside, but it indicated the way DR Congo were prepared to take the game to their opponents.

And their pressure paid off midway through the first half, as Lua Lua's dangerous cross was headed towards the goal, saved by Konate, but followed in with a brave header from Yvos.

Yvos was a rather unlikely scorer, but their second came from a much more predicable source.

After a second half Ivory Coast foray forward broke down, Lua Lua found Shabani Nonda with a fantastic pass on the counter-attack and, with the Elephant's defence disappearing before his very eyes, Nonda waltzed through and fired past the hapless Konate.

Ivory Coast were playing with little of the swagger and self-belief they had been displaying around their camp in Sikasso, while Lua Lua was showing real form, although he missed two good chances.

Controversial decisions

But the most crucial moments were three controversial penalty decisions.

With twenty minutes left Ivory Coast, sensing they were on the brink of going out, made a desperate raid forward and got the ball to Bakayoko in the six yard box.

But when the Marseille man fell under a DR Congo challenge, the referee did not give a penalty, though Bakayoko's claim looked strong.

Seven minutes later another Elephants' appeal was again refused - but five minutes after that, DR Congo were given the chance to seal victory when they themselves were given a spot kick for a desperate late Ivory Coast foul as they streamed forward.

There was no doubting the foul, but from several angles it looked as though the challenge came from outside the penalty area.

Komoto duly converted, and DR Congo were assured their place in the quarter-finals.

Only at the last did Ivory Coast muster any fight with Kedou's athletic shot, but by then the Simbas were well and truly kings.

BBC Sport's Richard Fleming
"Ivory Coast's appalling record continues"
DR Congo's Lomana Lua Lua
"We're happy to go through"
See also:

29 Jan 02 |  Cup of Nations
Clockwatch: African Nations Cup
29 Jan 02 |  Cup of Nations
Stallions in fierce mood
28 Jan 02 |  Football
The BBC in Mali
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