Ivory Coast drew 0-0 with Cameroon in a tepid match in Abidjan which saw the visitors finish with 10 men
- The result sees Ivory Coast secure their qualification to the Africa Cup of Nations, beginning in January
- After the match, Ivory Coast supporters invaded the pitch and appeared to be struck by police batons
- Some supporters pulled on the crossbar at one end of the field, celebrating their team’s qualification success
By BEN NAGLE*
Ivory Coast qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations after a lacklustre 0-0 draw with 10-man Cameroon, but a pitch invasion at the full-time whistle sparked dramatic scenes.
Visitors Cameroon had Stephane Mbia sent off just before the hour mark in Abidjan, and the match ended in farcical circumstances with the Ivory Coast players passing the ball around in defence as their opposition showed no desire to win possession.
At the full-time whistle Ivory Coast fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate their side’s qualification success, with pictures emerging of supporters pulling the crossbar down at one end of the pitch.
Police appeared to strike fans with batons in an attempt to stop them entering the field of play, but without success as hundreds made their way onto the pitch in celebration.
Fans clambered up railings at the side of the pitch to evade the attentions of baton-wielding riot police, as others watched on from the stands.
Yaya Toure’s goal-bound effort from the free-kick was headed off the line, which was the closest either side came to a goal.
Cameroon have 14 points, followed by Ivory Coast on 10, while DR Congo – who beat Sierra Leone 3-1 – are third on nine.
The Congolese could still reach the finals as the best third-placed side in the pool stages, but they will have to wait for the rest of the qualifiers on Saturday to find out their fate.