Cape Town - Group D is set to go down to the wire as Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon will meet in their final 2015 CAF Africa Cup of Nations match in Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday night.
Although the Elephants will go into this clash with the exception of striker, Gervinho, who was red-carded against the National Elephants of Guinea in their opening match, Saint Etienne’s Max Gradel is expected to solve the Elephants scoring problems upfront after netting a late equaliser against Mali last Saturday.
Looking at the group, an interesting factor in this group is that all teams (Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Guinea) have not won a single match as they’re tied on two points following 1-1 draws and the final matches are a must wins for these African giants.
Former Zambia coach Herve Renard, will have to dig deep to his wisdom corner and find solutions to solve the Elephants lacklustre showing in the 30th edition as they’ve been coming back to equalise in their past two matches.
On the other hand, the Indomitable Lions will have to also find a way to penetrate the Ivorian defence manned by the likes of Kolo Toure and Siaka Tiene for them to secure the three points and seal their knockout stage qualification.
Although the captain Stephane Mbia made his return in their previous tie against Guinea, coach, Volker Finke will hope for more inspiration from the Sevilla FC man.
Having won the tournament four times, the Indomitable Lions have been absent in the continental tournament since 2010 and a first round exit could be seen as disastrous.
Both sides last met during the qualifiers when they played to a goalless draw in Abidjan and in terms of the standings as all sides in this group are on two points, a team that scores more is set to go through.
The group has somehow lived to its standard of being named as one of the toughest in the tournament and the final games are set to determine who joins Group A, B and C winners respectively.
The match gets underway at 20:00 (SA time) at Estadio de Malabo as both sides will probe for their maiden three points.