BATA, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, Feb 5 — cote d’Ivoire coach Herve Renard is a happy man after guiding his side to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2015) being held in Equatorial Guinea.

The Elephants booked their place in the final thanks to a 3-1 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in their semi-final clash here Wednesday.

Captain Yaya Toure broke the deadlock on 20 minutes before the Leopards rallied back through Dieudonne Mbokani three minutes later. Gervinho restored the Ivorians just before half time before Serge Konan sealed victory from a goalmouth action in the second half.

It was the second time since 2012 that the 1992 winners have reached the final and Renard said the most important was to reach the final despite the difficult conditions under which the feat was achieved against a tough Congolese side.

“I didn’t like our performance. We did not do most of the things well. It was a tough game,” he said at the post-match press conference. “In the second half we played well because DR Congo were tired. Yaya Toure played very well and made a lot of sacrifices for the team.”

After guiding Zambia to the ultimate in 2012, history is staring in the face of Renard, with the prospect of becoming the first coach to win the flagship African football title with two different countries.

The Ivorians have failed to live up to their pre-tournament favourites’ tag since 2006 and the 46-year old Frenchman is hoping to guide them to the promised land. “We will try to take the trophy to Abidjan,” the Frenchman concluded.

Cote d’Ivoire will face either Ghana or hosts Equatorial Guinea in Sunday’s final in Bata.


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