Malabo - A brace by Cote d’Ivoire star Wilfried Bony and a goal by Gervinho was enough to book their team a spot in the semi-finals as they defeated Algeria 3-1 during their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations at Estadio de Malabo in Equatorial Guinea on Sunday.
Both Bony and Gervinho were on top of their game against the Desert Foxes as they inspired the former African champions to a convincing victory.
In the first five minutes Algeria showed their intentions as they entered the Ivorian box forcing the goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohou to make a save after a poor clearance by Siaka Tiene.
In the 19th minute, the Algerians got a free kick from the left flank, and again Herve Renard’s men were unorganised at the back and couldn’t deal with the ball, however, it landed in the path of Yacine Brahimi who shot wide.
In what could be a turning point for Ivorians, an unmarked Serge Aurrier nearly put his side ahead when his header hit the woodwork from Max Gradel, Rais Mbolhi was beaten but Bony couldn’t bury the rebound.
After 26 minutes Bony made a clever run and received a beautiful cross from Gradel; he managed to finish off with aplomb as the Desert Foxes defence and keeper protested for offside.
Nevertheless, Christian Gourcuff’s men had to chase the game after 30 minutes of play but the experience of Kolo Toure came into play at the back.
Algeria had their last chance to level maters when Faouzi Ghoulam’s attempt in the 45th minute went off target.
It took the Algerians only five minutes to find an equaliser when El Arabi Soudani met a cross from the left and coolly finished and it was Cote d’Ivoire that were under pressure.
Then a free-kick by captain of the Ivorians Yaya Toure found Bony‘s head to make it 2-1 and saw the big man complete his brace.
Towards the last 10 minutes, the Ivorian defence got better and dealt with Algeria's attack but Islam Slimani came close to scoring when he tried to tap in a cross from the right, however, it went out for a corner.
In the 86th minute, Ghoulam’s free-kick was saved by Gbohouo and it was evident that Herve Renard’s side was cruising to the semi-finals as they face DR Congo.
With four minutes remaining on the scoreboard, Gervinho made his presence felt when he finished with a low shot to make it 3-1.