Date: January 28th, 2015
Venue: Nuevo Estadio de Malabo
City: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Time: 20:00 (CAT)
Match Result: Cameroon 0 – 1 Ivory Coast
Goal Scorers: 0 – 1, Max Gradel 35’
The GSV Top Class Award
Ivory Coast were a nation in need of an improved and inspired performance if they were to maintain their hopes of wining themselves the African Cup of Nations, their 1st since their shock victory in ’92, the side received a shot in the arm from Max Gradel when his moment of pure inspiration elevated them to the level they should have been on since the qualifiers for the 2015 African Cup of Nations begun. Max Gradel is the deserving winner of our GSV Top Class Award for scoring a top class effort that won Ivory Coast the tie and allowed them to top the Group of Draws and win a shot in the quarter-finals.
The GSV Class Clown Award
With all due respect to a man that is the four-time African Footballer of the Year; Yaya Touré has disrespected us all as members of the African football fraternity with his below par and half-interested performances for The Elephants of late. For the second game running, Yaya was substituted off by gaffer Herve Renard for looking lethargic and largely uninterested in yet another subpar performance; with the Ivoirians set to face a defensively astute Algerian side in the quarter-finals, Yaya will need to elevate his game if they are to have any hope of progressing even further in this tournament and maintaining their shot at continental success.
The Grand Stand View
For an encounter that we anticipated to provide us with great entertainment value, Cameroon and Ivory Coast dished up a fairly dire and uninspiring performance that made one realise that the Group of Draws was packed with stalemates because all of the sides failed to consistently perform at the highest level and display the quality one needs to win an encounter, that was until Max Gradel’s moment of inspiration managed to separate two sides that seemed like they were destined for yet another draw. Cameroon dominated possession and consistently failed to trouble the goalkeeper with all the chances they created, one questions whether they are anywhere near the side they were when they drubbed Ivory Coast 4 -1 during the qualifiers. The Indomitable Lions had the quality to progress comfortably out of the group stages and yet they find themselves heading home early after failing to elevate their playing standard to the level we had anticipated to see them playing at and they also failed to display their quality to the degree their potential dictates they ought to be at. Ivory Coast have played nowhere to the level they ought to be at either and they will need to step it up in the quarter-finals against Algeria if they are to meet their expectations and become crowned champions of Africa.