AFCON: The 4 Key Ivorians To Miss Semifinal Clash Against DRC Including Quarterfinal Hero Diakite

AFCON: The 4 Key Ivorians To Miss Semifinal Clash Against DRC Including Quarterfinal Hero Diakite

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at February 5, 2024 at 11:40 AM
In this article:
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Oumar diakite
FC Liefering logo--
Serge Aurier logo
S. Aurier
Galatasaray logoDIvory Coast logo
Fiorentina logoF-
Wilfried Stephane Singo logo
W. S. Singo
Monaco logoDIvory Coast logo
  • Ivory Coast will miss four of their key players in their semifinal clash with DR Congo
  • The 2023 AFCON hosts reached the last four of the competition in dramatic fashion
  • Sports Brief takes a look at the quartet set to sit out the penultimate match

Ivory Coast orchestrated an incredible comeback victory, overcoming a 10-man disadvantage to beat Mali 2-1 in extra time and secure a place in the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals.

In a captivating quarter-final clash at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake, Les Elephants faced adversity early on when Odilon Kossounou conceded a penalty and was subsequently sent off for fouling Lassine Sinayoko.

Ivory Coast, DR Congo, AFCON, semifinal, key players
Oumar Diakite leads players of the Ivory Coast in wild celebrations after netting a last-gasp winner against Mali in the quarterfinals. Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO.
Source: Getty Images

Despite the setback, goalkeeper Yahia Fofana thwarted Adama Traore's penalty, keeping the hosts level at halftime.

Down by a player, Ivory Coast conceded a goal in the 71st minute, with Mali's substitute Nene Dorgeles finding the net.

Undeterred, the two-time African champions displayed remarkable resilience, equalising through Simon Adingra late in regulation time after Seko Fofana's long-range shot was parried.

As the match approached penalties, Oumar Diakete sealed a sensational late victory with a clever backheel finish in the 119th minute, France24 reports.

In a thrilling encounter, Ivory Coast showcased their fighting spirit, stunning another formidable opponent and keeping their AFCON dreams alive.

However, the triumph came at a cost, with four key players set to miss the semi-final against DR Congo due to suspensions.

Oumar Diakite

The matchwinner against Mali will be absent from the AFCON semi-finals after receiving a second booking for his exuberant celebrations against the Eagles.

The 20-year-old, in his enthusiasm, removed his shirt during the goal celebration, unintentionally earning his second booking of the game.

According to GOAL, this could mark the end of his tournament participation if his team fails to advance to the final.

Odilon Kossounou

The defender will be absent from the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final game against DR Congo on Wednesday due to his red card in the previous match.

The Bayer Leverkusen star was sent off in the first half of the quarter-final clash for repeated fouls on winger Lassine Sinayoko.

After Ivory Coast's qualification to the last four, the 23-year-old expressed his apologies to the fans of the Ivorian national team on social media and commended his teammates for their courageous efforts.

Serge Aurier

The captain in the quarterfinal against Mali will be unavailable for the semi-final against DR Congo due to suspension.

The Nottingham Forest defender, set to join Galatasaray after AFCON per the BBC, will sit out the semifinal tie due to accumulated yellow cards, receiving his second caution in the Mali match after being booked in the round of 16 against Senegal.

Christian Kouame

Similar to Serge Aurier, Kouame will be unavailable for Ivory Coast's semifinal against DR Congo due to accumulated yellow cards.

The Fiorentina winger received a caution against Senegal and another against Mali in the quarterfinal.

Despite missing the opening game against Guinea-Bissau, Kouame has played in every subsequent match for Ivory Coast on their journey to the semifinals.

Ivory Coast tried to stop Diakite's send-off

In an earlier report, Sports Brief highlighted Ivory Coast defender Wilfried Singo's apprehension regarding the potential absence of his teammate and match-winner against Mali, Oumar Diakite, in the upcoming match against DR Congo.

A widely circulated video on social media captures Singo's efforts to prevent the exuberant Diakite from removing his shirt, recognising the risk of accumulating a second yellow card.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.