Elephants march past Benin
The Ivory Coast secured their spot in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 4-1 win over Benin.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 26/01/08 10:17am
The Ivory Coast secured their spot in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a comfortable 4-1 win over minnows Benin.
Goals from Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Abdul Kader Keita and Aruna Dindane handed the Elephants a comfortable victory as Benin could only grab a late strike from Razak Omotoyossi.
Benin were never in the game and the Ivory Coast gladly accepted their second three-point haul of the competition to take themselves to the top of Group B after Monday's victory over Nigeria.
The Ivory Coast began brightly and Dindane should have done better when he rattled the woodwork with an 11th minute header from a Drogba cross.
However, midway through the half Benin had their best chance of the game as Omotoyossi was unfortunate not to break the deadlock when he was denied from range by a good save from Boubacar Barry.
Drogba, though, should then have put the Ivory Coast in front when he blazed over 10 minutes before the break after being set up by his Chelsea team-mate Salomon Kalou.
But Drogba did not have to wait long for his first goal of the competition as the striker latched onto a pinpoint 40th minute through ball from Yaya Toure and calmly slotted past Benin goalkeeper Richard Chitou from 10 yards.
Things were then to run in the family for the Ivory Coast as Kolo Toure retrieved a loose ball following a corner and skilfully cut past Alain Gaspoz on the left of the penalty area before rolling across goal for his brother Yaya to slot in from close range on 43 minutes.
Worryingly for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that was to be Kolo Toure's final act of the game as the centre-back was forced off shortly before half-time with a leg injury.
After the interval the Ivory Coast continued to dominate and on 53 minutes Damien Chrysostome was robbed by Keita on the edge of his box after being fed by Chitou and the Lyon forward went on to calmly roll in.
The Ivory Coast continued to pummel their opponents' goal and nine minutes later an inevitable fourth followed as Drogba flicked a cross into the danger area for Dindane to head past Chitou.
Benin, though, were to grab a late consolation when Omotoyossi headed in an injury-time cross from Stephane Sessegnon.