Ivory Coast comes up short again

[AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS] Once again, Didier Drogba's Ivory Coast came up empty in the Africa Cup of Nations, losing to Nigeria, 2-1, in Sunday's quarterfinal. Host South Africa was also eliminated, falling in a shootout to Mali. The weekend results set up semifinal matchups between Nigeria and Mali and Ghana and Burkina Faso.

Nigeria and Ghana are two of the giants of African soccer but neither has won the Africa Cup of Nations since the Super Eagles' title in 1994. Mali and Burkina have never won the African championship.

Nigeria got goals from Emmanuel Emenike (Spartak Moscow) and Sunday Mba (Warri Wolves) to eliminate Ivory Coast.

"Of course our aim was to win the title and for certain players this could be their last chance so, yes, there is disappointment," said Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi. "It's a great sadness for me as the players were working with one objective -- to win this Nations Cup -- but it proved not to be enough."

Ghana ended tiny Cape Verde Islands' surprising run with a 2-0 win on Saturday. Substitute Mubarak Wakaso (Espanyol) hit both goals.

Goalie Soumaila Diakite (Stade Malien) made two saves in the shootout to give Mali a 3-1 win over South Africa after their game ended 1-1. The win sent the Eagles into the semifinals for the sixth time.

Jonathan Pitroipa (Rennes) scored in overtime to give Burkina Faso a 1-0 win over Togo and advance to the final four for only the second time.

Television viewing: All games are available on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

QUARTERFINALS
Feb. 2 in Durban
South Africa 1 Mali 1
(Mali wins 3-1 on penalties.)
Feb. 2 in Port Elizabeth
Ghana 2 Cape Verde Islands 0
Feb. 3 in Nelspruit
Burkina Faso 1 Togo 0
Feb. 3 in Rustenburg
Nigeria 2 Ivory Coast 1

SEMIFINALS
Feb. 6 in Durban
Nigeria vs. Mali
Feb. 6 in Nelspruit
Burkina Faso vs. Ghana

THIRD-PLACE GAME

Feb. 9 in Port Elizabeth

FINAL

Feb. 10 in Johannesburg

GROUP A
Jan. 19 in Johannesburg
South Africa 0 Cape Verde Islands 0
Angola 0 Morocco 0
Jan. 23 in Durban
South Africa 2 Angola 0
Morocco 1 Cape Verde Islands 1
Jan. 27 in Durban
Morocco 2 South Africa 2
Jan. 27 in Port Elizabeth
Cape Verde Islands 2 Angola 1
Final Standings: South Africa 5 points (4-2); Cape Verde Islands 5 (3-2); Morocco 3; Angola 1.

GROUP B
Jan. 20 in Port Elizabeth
Ghana 2 DR Congo 2
Mali 1 Niger 0
Jan. 24 in Port Elizabeth
Ghana 1 Mali 0
Niger 0 DR Congo 0
Jan. 28 in Port Elizabeth
Ghana 3 Niger 0
Jan. 28 in Durban
Mali 1 DR Congo 1
Standings: Ghana 7 points; Mali 4; DR Congo 3; Niger 1.

GROUP C
Jan. 21 in Nelspruit
Zambia 1 Ethiopia 1
Nigeria 1 Burkina Faso 1
Jan. 25 in Nelspruit
Zambia 1 Nigeria 1
Burkina Faso 4 Ethiopia 0
Jan. 29 in Nelspruit
Burkina Faso 0 Zambia 0
Jan. 29 in Rustenburg
Nigeria 2 Ethiopia 0
Standings: Burkina Faso 5 points (5-1); Nigeria 5 (4-2); Zambia 3; Ethiopia 1.

GROUP D
Jan. 22 in Rustenburg
Ivory Coast 2 Togo 1
Tunisia 1 Algeria 0
Jan. 26 in Rustenburg
Ivory Coast 3 Tunisia 0
Togo 2 Algeria 0
Jan. 30 in Rustenburg
Algeria 2 Ivory Coast 2
Jan. 30 in Nelspruit
Tunisia 1 Togo 1
Standings: Ivory Coast 7 points; Togo 4 (3-4); Tunisia 4 (2-4); Algeria 1.

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