Ivory Coast advance to knockout stage of Tokyo Olympics
By Tony Oji
It is indeed a good score line for Ivory Coast as they advanced to the quarter-finals of the Tokyo Olympic Games after a 1-1 draw against Germany on Wednesday, Orient Sports reports.
The difficult encounter between both countries was played at the Miyagi Stadium in Rifu, of which the African team were the first to score in the 67th minute after their pressure for an opener saw defender Benjamin Heinrichs score into his own net.
A superb free kick from substitute Eduard Lowen from the edge of the area in the 73rd minute saw the Germans draw level just six minutes later, the Ivorians held on to secure what proved to be a vital draw.
In the seventh minute, Germany continued to put pressure on their opponents and Marco Richter created enough space for himself after stepping past three defenders but his final effort was well gathered by goalkeeper Tape.
Both teams headed into the half-time break tied at 0-0 and after the resumption, Germany made their first substitution as Maximilian Arnold paved the way for Eduard Lowen and they immediately had shouts for a penalty dismissed by the referee after a tackle by Ivory Coast defender Dabila inside the box.
Despite Germany’s efforts to get a second, throughout the second 45 minutes proved abortive as Ivory Coast stayed tight at the back to snatch a draw and remain unbeaten in the Group, finishing second on five points, two fewer than leaders Brazil.
Orient Sports confirms that the Ivorians squad were fortified with experienced players like AC Milan’s Franck Kessie, Turkey-based Max Gradel and Manchester United’s Eric Bailly.