Ivory Coast secured a place at the World Cup finals in South Africa next year after Didier Drogba struck within two minutes of coming on as a substitute to clinch a 1-1 draw with Malawi on Saturday.
The Ivorians, needing only a draw with the bottom-placed
team in African qualifying Group E, had to come from behind
after the hosts took a surprise 64th minute lead through Jacob
Drogba's immediate intervention from the substitutes' bench
put the favourites back on course and they held out for the
point they needed.
The result brought an end to the Ivorians' 100 percent run
in the group but confirmed a second successive trip to the World
Cup for the west African nation.
Ghana have already qualified from Group D, while South
Africa qualify as hosts. Three more places from Africa are still
up for grabs.
Chelsea striker Drogba was in buoyant mood after the game, delighted to have helped his team qualify for another World Cup.
"This is the second time Ivory Coast is in the World Cup," said Drogba. "You know, the country has never done that before.So, it is good for us. We are really happy."