Ivory Coast beat Serbia-Montenegro 3-2

Bonaventure Kalou scored the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 86th minute on Wednesday to give Ivory Coast a 3-2 win over Serbia-Montenegro.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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Bonaventure Kalou scored the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 86th minute on Wednesday to give Ivory Coast a 3-2 win over Serbia-Montenegro. Both teams had already been eliminated from the tournament. Aruna Dindane scored the other two goals for the Elephants, one from the penalty spot. Nikola Zigic and Sasa Ilic scored for Serbia-Montenegro. Ivory Coast was trailing 2-0 when Dindane scored the first penalty in the 37th minute. He then added a header in the 67th to equalise. Normally defensive-minded Serbia-Montenegro opened the game against the potent Ivory Coast attack with only one forward in Zigic, and that was enough to grab a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute. Zigic made the goal look easy after Dejan Stankovic spotted the tall forward on a run up the middle and hit him with a bending 35-meter pass. Zigic easily cut inside defender Blaise Kouassi, sidestepped goalkeeper Boubacar Barry and skidded the ball into the open net. Barry, making his World Cup debut, is normally a backup. Kouassi also was a new insert in the starting lineup by coach Henri Michel, who had switched out half of his back line from the previous game against the Netherlands. It was the first time Serbia-Montenegro had scored in the World Cup after losing 1-0 to the Netherlands and 6-0 to Argentina. Yet the Blues would need only 10 minutes to score again. They exploited yet another blunder by an Ivory Coast back line that was plagued by costly mistakes throughout the tournament, no matter who was playing. Cyrille Domoraud, another new insert in the Ivory Coast lineup, badly misplayed a long free kick in front of his own net. Ilic was right there to pick up the gift, beat Barry and score easily while opposing defenders flailed their arms and shouted at one another. It marked the third time in three games that Ivory Coast had found itself trying to climb out of a 2-0 first-half deficit. This time, the Elephants would have to do it without striker Dider Drogba, who was suspended for receiving yellow cards in each of his first two games. But both teams' defences were exceedingly generous in the first half. In the 35th minute, Dudic was caught senselessly punching out an Ivory Coast cross into the penalty area, giving the Elephants a penalty shot. Dudic offered an embarrassed smile as Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez gave him a yellow card. He then watched as Dindane slid the penalty shot inside right post - twice - because the first had to be retaken after several players rushed into the penalty area too early. Ivory Coast had other great chances, but goalkeeper Dragoslav Jevric, the one Montenegro native on a team that will soon split on account of Montenegro's succession from the former Yugoslav state, thwarted several with sprawling saves. Serbia Montenegro had to play the second half a man down after Albert Nadj, who had only come in the 16th minute to replace injured Mladen Krstajic, received his second yellow card following a hard tackle on Kader Keita at the end of the first half. (AP)