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Defensive solidity sees Ivory Coast slashed for African Nations Cup

| 06.02.2012

Ivory Coast ensured progression to the African Nations Cup semi-final with an emphatic 3-0 victory over joint-hosts Equatorial Guinea on Saturday.

Now, the pre-tournament favourites have seen their odds cut yet shorter to achieve only the second African Nations Cup success in their history, available at 5/6 to claim the crown.

Prior to the tournament, it was thought that the immense firepower within the side would define Ivory Coast’s chances, with the likes of Didier Drogba, Salmon Kalou, Gervinho and Seydou Doumbia at the disposal of national coach Francois Zahoui.

However, it has been their defensive record which has been most impressive thus far, with the team yet to concede in three matches prior to the knockout stage.

Zahoui’s men achieved two 1-0 scorelines ahead of their 3-0 win to put the gloss on qualification, and captain Drogba’s brace in that game was his third strike of the tournament, making him look good value for punters who backed him to finish as tournament top scorer before a ball was kicked.

Of the remaining sides in the tournament, Ivory Coast would seem to have the more straightforward route to the final ahead of the games, with Mali standing in their way of a potential final with Ghana or Zambia.

Ivory Coast are 8/15 to overcome the Malians in the last four, and if you fancy them to continue the trend they have set in impressive fashion so far, you can take advantage of scoreline betting markets, with 1-0 and 2-0 both priced at 5/1, while it is 8/1 for the Drogba-inspired side to triumph 3-0.

Ghana look to be the main threats in preventing Les Elephants collecting a first African Nations Cup trophy since 1992, and they are 2/1 to claim the title, and an appealing 4/5 to beat Zambia in 90 minutes.

With the impressive nature of their qualification though, and looking to be peaking as a unit, Ivory Coast look good, even at odds-on, for tournament glory.



John Klee