African Nations Cup: Ivory Coast vs. Ghana

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Ivory Coast vs. Ghana: Tournament favorites Ivory Coast need a victory against Ghana if they are to progress past the group stages of the African Nations Cup.

Didier Drogba and the gang, held to a 0-0 draw by Burkina Faso in their opening match on Monday, would be on the brink of elimination if they lose at Cabinda’s Chiazi Stadium this afternoon.

The 31-year-old Chelsea striker said that the tragic events that led to the withdrawal of Togo from the competition had played a big part on their defeat.

First round failure at the ANC could also put serious pressure on coach Vahid Halilhodzic and may even cost him his chance to lead the Elephants at the World Cup.

This game, meanwhile, is the first at the Nations Cup for Ghana, who did not play as scheduled after the Sparrow Hawks’ departure.

The Black Stars, who recently won the under-20 World Cup, will draw from emerging young talent as they push for a fifth ANC title. However, this would be a tough match, as they will be battling a team full of top-caliber players like Kolo Toure, Salomon Kalou, Yaya Toure and of course, Drogba.

But the question is…can Drogba lead his countrymen out against Michael Essien‘s well-organized Ghana side?

The match kicks-off at 1:30 p.m. ET (19:30 CET).

UPDATE: Ivory Coast moved into the quarter-finals of the ANC by beating Ghana 3-1, thanks to goals from Gervinho, Siaka Tiene and Drogba.