By Julien Pretot
SEKONDI, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast thrashed Benin 4-1
on Friday to underline their credentials for a second African
Nations Cup triumph.
The Elephants will qualify for the knockout stage if Mali
beat Nigeria in Group B's other game being played at the Essipon
Benin, who are eliminated, resisted until the 40th minute
when striker Didier Drogba opened the scoring from close range
after being set up by a fine Yaya Toure pass.
The Ivorians extended their lead one minute before the
interval. Kolo Toure was the creator, retrieving an overhit
corner before crossing low across the face of the goal for his
brother Yaya to stab in.
Abdelkader Keita made it three on 52 minutes, seizing on a
loose ball after poor play from the Benin defence and running
through to slot past Rachad Chitou.
Aruna Dindane, who had gone close on numerous occasions,
wrapped up the win 11 minutes later by heading home a Drogba
With Nigeria and Mali fans filing in to the stadium, Razak
Omotoyossi scored a stoppage-time consolation for Benin.