Three things learned from Ivory Coast's Group D-clinching 1-0 triumph over Cameroon at the African Nations Cup.
Gradel comes to life
A frequently featured substitute of recent times, with former coaches Francois Zahoui and Sabri Lamouchi using him sparingly as cover for Gervinho and Salomon Kalou, Max Gradel has slowly come to life in this tournament, as some playing time for his country is proving what a useful player he can be.
Missing out in the first match against Guinea, spending the whole...
Max Gradel's stunning first-half strike saw Ivory Coast beat Cameroon 1-0 and finish top of a tightly-contested African Nations Cup Group D to qualify for the quarterfinals.
The former Leeds midfielder, who is now at St Etienne, launched a spectacular strike from outside of the area to beat Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa and put Ivory Coast ahead in the 35th minute.
Knowing they needed a goal to keep their hopes of progression alive, Cameroon were unable to find the target and instead exited...
Four matches in and it's neck and neck. In fact, it couldn't be closer. After four 1-1 draws in the first two matchdays in Group D of the Africa Cup of Nations, Ivory Coast, Mali, Cameroon and Guinea all find themselves in the same situation.
That's the same points, same goals scored, same goals conceded. No wins, no losses -- just four draws in the opening two matchdays. At the moment the teams can't be separated: they all deserve to go through and all deserve to go out.
This, of course, means...
Ivory Coast's star-studded side may have to depend on the drawing of lots to reach the quarterfinals at the African Nations Cup depending on the results of Wednesday's Group D matches.
Yaya Toure, his new Manchester City teammate Wilfried Bony and the rest of his Ivorian teammates will face Cameroon at Malabo Stadium, while Guinea takes on Mali in Mongomo. All four teams in Group D have two points after 1-1 draws in each match.
"We fight like elephants to try to win this game," said veteran Ivory...