SEKONDI, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Salomon Kalou scored a double as
Ivory Coast cruised into the semi-finals of the African Nations
Cup with a 5-0 demolition of Guinea in Sekondi on Sunday.
Ivory Coast next play either Egypt or Angola, who meet in
their quarter-final in Kumasi on Monday.
There was a minute's silence before kickoff in memory of the
late son of former Ivory Coast coach Uli Stielike, who died this
Abdelkader Keita opened the scoring in the 25th minute of
the quarter-final at the Essipon stadium after outpacing the
Guinea defence for a 1-0 halftime lead.
Captain Didier Drogba made it two in the 70th having been
put through by Kalou, who netted his double in the space of nine
minutes between the 73rd and 81st.
Substitute Bakary Kone rubbed salt in Guinea's wounds by
adding a fifth four minutes from time.
The Elephants, runners-up in the 2006 tournament in Egypt,
were simply too strong for Guinea. Though they missed several
clear chances, Gerard Gili's side left no room for doubt about
The game failed to live up to expectations until the 25th
minute when Keita outpaced the defence to fire home with a low
shot from the right that went in at the far post for his second
goal of the tournament.
Ivory Coast stepped up a gear before halftime with Aruna
Dindane and Kalou being denied in quick succession by keeper
Kemoko Camara on 44 minutes.
Camara kept his team's hopes alive when he leapt to turn
away a curling Drogba shot that was heading for his top left
corner on the stroke of halftime.
Guinea were centimetres short of an equaliser shortly after
the hour when a Daouda Jabi free kick shaved Boubacar Barry's
Ivory Coast's finishing let them down again when Dindane
missed an open goal in the 67th minute.
However, Drogba showed the way two minutes later when he
slotted the ball home after being set up by Kalou's pass.
Drogba returned the favour four minutes later by setting up
his Chelsea team mate, who walked the ball into the net after
dribbling past Camara.
Kalou took his tournament tally to three with his second and
Kone completed the rout.
Guinea were without defender Dianbobo Balde, who failed to
recover in time from a thigh injury, and had to cope with the
absence of suspended forward Pascal Feindouno.