Ivory Coast beats Egypt 4-2 in final warm-up
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP)
African Cup of Nations favorite Ivory Coast came from a goal down to beat Egypt 4-2 in its final warm-up Monday before heading to South Africa for another go at winning its first continental championship since 1992.
Arsenal's Gervinho scored twice in Abu Dhabi and Lacina Traore and Dider Ya Konan also had goals after Egypt forced its way in front in the 19th minute through Mohamed Aboutrika's glancing header past goalkeeper Boubacar Barry.
Gervinho equalized in the 38th from the penalty spot and Traore put Africa's top-ranked team ahead two minutes later after slipping behind Egypt's defense at the back post and poking home.
Gervinho netted again in the 53rd when the ball fell favorably for him after messy defending from American coach Bob Bradley's Egypt team.
Forward Gedo converted a low cross for Egypt in the 60th to pull it back to 3-2, sending the ball through Barry's legs.
But Ya Konan extended the Ivorians' advantage eight minutes from the end as he swept in from in front of goal after a rapid counterattack down the right wing.
Captain Didier Drogba and fellow striker Salomon Kalou sat out the first half but were introduced in the second by coach Sabri Lamouchi, while Gervinho also had a late hat-trick goal ruled out for offside.
There was no appearance from African player of the year Yaya Toure, however, after the Manchester City midfielder missed training with illness last week at Ivory Coast's pre-African Cup base in United Arab Emirates. Team officials said there were no concerns over his fitness for the upcoming tournament.
Ivory Coast is in Group D at the African Cup - arguably the toughest group - alongside Tunisia, Algeria and Togo. The Ivorians open their campaign against Togo next Tuesday.