Date: February 1st, 2015
Venue: Nuevo Estadio De Malabo
City: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Time: 21:30 (CAT)
Match Result: Ivory Coast 3 – 1 Algeria
Goal Scorers: Wilfried Bony (26′); El Arbi Soudani (51′); Wilfried Bony (68′); Gervinho (90′)
The GSV Top Class Award
The fixture between the Ivory Coast and Algeria was meant to be one of the thrillers of the tournament, and looking at the scoreline, one might argue that it lived up to the hype. Algeria might have had the greater share of confidence in the build up to this encounter, but it was the Ivorians who triumphed in a game that promised quality and class in abundance. While the teams looked evenly matched on paper, both coaches knew it was goals that would see their side through, and it was Herve Renard’s men who were able to capitalise on their chances. The goals came from Roma forward Gervinho, who made sure of the victory in the 90th minute, and our GSV Top Class Award winner Wilfried Bony, who netted a brace to increase his side’s chances of 2015 Afcon glory. For his classy finishing and overall solid performance, Bony walks away with our GSV Top Class Award.
The GSV Class Clown Award
This GSV Class Clown Award may seem a bit harsh, but we have decided that it must go to the Algerian national team. While we acknowledge the fact that FIFA rankings count for little on game day, the GSV team feels as though the number one ranked Algerian side could have done better to affect the outcome of the match, especially having managed to equalise shortly after half time. The Ivory Coast’s defensive unit may have had a lot to do with the limited number of chances that Algeria were able to muster, but the desert warriors must be faulted for some of their defending during the game. Bony’s opener came as a result of a top class cross by Max Gradel, but his second, and Gervinho’s goal, demanded better from a side ranked highest in Africa, and for that they walk away with the GSV Class Clown Award.
The Grand Stand View
A clash between two giants always presents the opportunity for a footballing feast, and both sides came into this one looking to put in a performance worthy of a spot in the semifinal. But almost as expected, both sets of players sized each other up, with neither opting to go all out from the first whistle. It took a moment of quality from Max Gradel to set up Bony for the opener, forcing a reaction out of the Algerian team. An equaliser certainly made for anxious viewing, but in the end it was the Ivorians who set up a semifinal meeting with DR Congo. Still in search of their first Afcon trophy since 1992, The Elephants will need to reach into the top drawer to set up a final showdown, and Herve Renard will be hoping Yaya Toure and his men will show the same quality that saw them past the Desert Warriors.