Nelspruit: Ivory Coast beat North Korea 3-0 but still failed to make it to the next stage, spelling heartbreak for millions of Africans and their star Didier Drogba.
Yaya Toure scored in the 14th minute to give the Elephants a 1-0 lead over North Korea of their Group G match Friday at the World Cup. A short six minutes later, Romaric made the tally 2-0 to offer a shimmer of hope. However, they could not replicate the goal fest displayed against the Koreans by the Portuguese.
Salomon Kalou netted in the 82nd minute to get his team a 3-0 advantage but they never recovered from the deep dent made by Portugal in the terms of goal difference.
For the second goal, Drogba controlled the ball in the area and thundered it off the underside of the bar, in the confusion if it crossed or not, Romaric headed home from the rebound.
Toure also slipped a pass through to Kader Keita in the first minute to force a close-range save from North Korea goalkeeper Ri Myong Guk as Ivory Coast dominated the opening.
Ri was called into action again in the ninth minute to grab Koffi Romaric N`Dri`s 35-yard free kick and Gervinho crossed across the face of goal a minute later.
Ivory Coast needed to beat North Korea by a wide margin to have any hope of advancing to the round of 16 and that was not to be, in the end it was curtains for both the squads battling it out on the field.