Gervinho when at Lille – scored for Ivorians tonight in Abidjan
But it wasn’t easy for the home side, as they had to come from behind twice, and three late goals eventually got them a satisfactory win by two clear goals, before the second leg on October 12th in Dakar.
Senegal went ahead when Dame Ndoye put the Teranga Lions ahead with a simply magnificent goal, as his rocket of a shot went zooming into goal, and that was only the second goal the Ivorians had conceded at home in the last seven years
Lille and former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou then put the ball in the back of the net for the equalizer, in what was a quick and easy strike, but Salomon showed great skill.
And then Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse scored for Senegal with a wonderful headed goal to put Senegal 2-1 up, and send Alan Pardew and the Newcastle fans into some considerable concern, and that was only the third goal in seven years conceded by the Ivorians in the last seven years – two of them being tonight.
Here’s Cisse’s goal on video.
And then a quick counter-attack from the back from Yaya Toure of Manchester City, ended up with Arsenal winger Gervinho scoring the Ivorian’s second goal in as many minutes, as the ball went in off the cross-bar to put the Ivorians level.
Gervinho then had a great chance when he was clean through, but he was forced wide and the ball went for a corner and then Didier Drogba brought a great save from the Senegal goalkeeper, and from the resultant corner, Gervinho had the ball in the back of the net, but he was flagged for offside.
Gervinho was then brought down in the penalty area after 80 minutes, and Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba took the ball to take the penalty, and he made no mistake from the spot, as he hit the ball low to the goalkeeper’s right giving him no chance – so after Senegal had been ahead twice, the Ivorians were 3-2 ahead with just 9 minutes to go.
The Ivory Coast continued to press as they tried to get a decent home advantage before the second leg in October and would you beleive it but they went ahead 4-2 when Cheikh M’Bengue, a former Newcastle target, deflected a shot into his own goal.
And then Didier Drogba seemed to have scored again, but he was yellow carded and it looked like the former Chelsea striker had used his hand to put the ball into back of the net – I guess it wasn’t the hand of God – not this time anyway.
The Ivory Coast were pressing all the time late in the game to try to increase their winning margin, and in added time Gervinho almost had the ball in the back of the net again for the Ivorians, but the goalkeeper made another good save.
And after over five minutes of added time the Ivory Coast ran out victors by 4-2, and now we have to wait of the second leg of the play-off until October 12th to be played in Dakar, before we know what our fate is.
And then we’ll know for definite whether Newcastle will lose both Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse to the African Cup of Nations finals in South Africa in January, or just Cheick Tiote – no disrespect to Cheick but losing only one top player is better than losing two.
Howay The Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org