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THE SHOT THAT PASSED RIGHT THROUGH THE NET    African Cup Of Nations 2000  JAN 22 - FEB 13  Nigeria/Ghana 
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Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D
3rd place
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Côte d'Ivoire - Togo   1 : 1 

Before the match:  
Côte d'Ivoire who are considered strong enough to spoil the plans of either Cameroon or Ghana, are in danger to become victim of a similar scenario here. They are clear favorites but Togo has been a constantly improving site and despite problems in calling up star-striker Bashirou Salou from Germany they will seek to spoil at least the plans of one of the three group giants. (Bashirou Salou yet has opted for staying with the club although Togo has included him on the official players list in hope to persuade him to a out-of-nothing appearance).  
If the Ivorian 'Elephants' can find their inspiration and magic, they will be hard to stop. But the new face of the squad that traditionally arrives with a new coach has had fewer match practice that the opponents. At Togo watch out for talent Maman Cherif Maman Touré (#10) in his competition with Côte d'Ivoire playmaker Tchiressoua Guel (#14). 

C.A.F. stats: 
C. D’IVOIRE: 1-Alain Gouamene, 3-Patrice Zere, 4-Lassina Diabete, 12-Serge Die, 7-Ibrahima Kone, 8-Didier Angan, 15- Bonaventure Kalou Charles Dago 84), 17-Cyrille Domoraud, 10- Ibrahima Bakayoko (11-Hamed Modibo Diallo, 76), 14-Tchiressoa Guel, 21-Donaldo-Olivier Sie (13-Aliou Siby Badra, 73) 
TOGO 16-Kossi Agassa, 2-Messan Ametokodo 14-Franck Atsou 46), 4-Massamesso Tchangai, 5-Yaovi Abalo, 3-Yao Senaya, 12-Yao Aziawonou (13-Komlan Assignon, 36), 7-Tadjou Salou, 8-Lantame Ouadja, 10-Maman Sherif Toure, 17-Abdelkader Coubadja, 9-Koffi Fiawoo (20-Djima Oyawole, 46)
C. d’Ivoire - Tchiresso Guel 38pen 
Togo - Lantame Ouadja 62 
Referee: Tessema Hailemalak (ETH)
Ass. Referees: Tawfik Adjengi (TUN), Wagih Ahmed (EGY)
Reserve referee: Mourad Daami (TUN)

1st half:  
The omnipresent brass bands are playing the rhythm for the match...  
-('3) First test for the Togolese goalkeeper 
-('6) Togo crosses the midfield line the first time, Ivorians make ball control look easy 
-('7) CIV: Guel sets first accents 
The match looks as follows: Togo with only few players upfront, reches midfield, Ivorians conquer the ball and try to play out the opponent with a neat passing game but yet have not cracked the crowded Togo defence. The few times Togo is in the Ivorian half they sometimes switch and put pressure on the build-up of the Ivorians even after losing ball. 
-('13) CIV: Beatiful attack ends with deflected shot - corner - this brings a one man counter-attack by the fast Togo (#17) Coubadja who has to be stopped by a bodycheck.and gets carried off. Free kick sails wide and #17 returns to play on. 
-('16) exciting save of the Togolese keeper against a Kalou shot, but whistled a doubtful offside 
The Ivorians make the ball and their opponents run. First signs of panic and vertigo in the Togo defence: If the Elephants continue like this they will have their opponents tired and unconcentrated sooner or later.  
-('24) Togo: A Maman Touré shot is blocked, the fast counter attack ends with a fine clearing by a Togolese defender 
Côte d'Ivoire has 11 conspicious players yet, among them Kalou and Donald Sie. Togolese make a good fending effeort yet. Most counter attempts run by Maman Touré. 
-('28) a brilliant Donald Sie solo sets up a big Bakayoko opportunity, but a defender can deflect 
-('35) an early Togo replacement: #13 Assignon, a midfielder comes in.  
-('37) a counter attack concludes in Bakayoko tripping over the keeper, penalty (and yellow card), Guel scores low left. Goalkeeper in the right corner but without chance - 1:0 
-('41) Maman Touré continues to distribute his visit crads 
-('42) He sets up #17 who's shot is saved by the Ivorian keeper Guamene 
-(43) CIV: nice attack has played DOnald Sie free 14 meters to the goal but his shot goes far wide 
-('44) Togo: spectacular shot by the replacement #13 and Guamene saves 
-(''injury time) another great save by Guamene 
-('injury time) the following corner sees a goal for Togo, but it is ruled illegal either for offside or for checking the keeper. Gouamene gets treated, #22 is warming up for the emergency case, but Gouamene plays on. 

Halftime: 1:0  
Côte d'Ivoire look superiour but Togo play a fine strategy to keep the scoreline close and even came within reach of an equaliser. The referee pleased with unobtrusiveness. The two major decisions he had to take seemed o.k.. 

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2nd half:  
-('49) First scene for Togo with #17 shot denied for a corner 
The 1:0 seems to have brought a motivation shift away from CIV and towards Togo. Players have to take long looks until they find somebody to pass the ball onto. 
-('54) CIV: Good opportunity for #7 Kone but wide 
-(''56) Togo: Good attack of the fast #17 
-('57) CIV: Kalou dangerous, but keeper can deflect the ball, saves a Serge Die shot at the following corner 
-('62) The long deserved equaliser: Fine sharp ball in from the left site (#3 Senaya) and at the right goal post #8 Ouadja puts his foot in and scores - 1:1 
-('71) Dangerous Togo free kick: a low sharp shot from sharp but another Togolese player runs in and deflects. #3 Senaya a driving force now. 
-('72) CIV still attacks but cannot create major chances 
-(''75) CIV: Ivorian footballer of the year 1998 Siby Badra and the best striker of the qualification  Modibo Diallo are brought in to turn it around 
-('77) Togo: The increasingly conspicious #17 alone against three wins a free kick with 18 meter distance to the goal: it is hammered into the wall 
Ivorians have lost inspiration and magic completely. Togo looks confident, wins balls. 
-('83) Togo: #17 stopped in the last moment by a defender. CIV: Diallo by the Togolese keeper 
-(''89) CIV: Dangerous Serge Die cross missed by two players 
-('injury time) last minute excite ment in front of the Togolese goal but several players miss the sharp shot in 

Final result: 1:1  
The lead was poison for the Ivorians, before looking inspired, after then paralysied. Togo grew stronger and stronger. In the final minutes the Ivorians tried to fight back but they seemed to have lost the keys on the way. Would the experienced master of the African game Joel Tiehi have made a difference? An academic question. The doubt is one of the worst enemies for a game that depends on inspiration. This match was a blow to Ivorian confidence and a boost for their next oponent Cameroon. 
Togo have seen they can compete with the big boys. Their next opponent is Ghana, already nervous: Togo beat them 1998 at Burkina Faso in a lucky one. 

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