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October 12, 2009

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Home » Sports » Soccer

Ivorians seal spot with draw

TALISMAN Didier Drogba came off the bench to secure Ivory Coast a place in the World Cup finals with a 1-1 draw against Malawi on Saturday.
The Group E result made sure the Ivorians would join Ghana and host South Africa in next year's tournament but the battle for three remaining berths from the region hung in the balance.
Cameroon stayed ahead in Group A after dispatching Togo 3-0 in Yaounde, while African champion Egypt kept alive its hopes with a 1-0 away win in Zambia.
With the Ivorians needing only a draw against bottom-placed Malawi in their qualifier in Blantyre, coach Vahid Halilhodzic rested most of his key players for what was presumed a routine challenge.
But after Malawi broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute through Jacob Ngwira, Halilhodzic was forced to introduce the might of Drogba, who had been left on the bench along with Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure.
The Ivorian captain took just two minutes from his entry on to the field to score the equalizer and secure a second successive World Cup trip for the west Africans.
Cameroon is one point ahead of Gabon in Group A while Egypt moved level with Algeria on 10 points in Group C.
Algeria is expected to restore its three-point lead when it hosts bottom-placed Rwanda in Blida, setting up a potentially thrilling decider in Cairo between Egypt and Algeria next month.


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