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AFCON: Bony, Toure set sights on African crown

Is the Ivory Coast’s 23-year wait for an African Cup of Nations title about to come to an end?

Wilfried Bony and Yaya Toure could be 90 minutes away from the final of the competition in Equatorial Guinea but one of the tournament’s surprise packages, DR Congo, stand in the way.

Bony scored his first two goals of the competition in the Elephants’ last eight encounter with Algeria, picking up the Man of the Match award in a 3-1 victory.

City’s newest recruit scored with headers on either side of half-time, with the second coming from a Toure free-kick assist.

Ivory Coast boss Herve Renard believes that Bony is the perfect man to fill the retired Didier Drogba's boots and fire his nation to glory.

"If Drogba is not here it's not because of us but because of him," coach Herve Renard told reporters. "However if you lose Drogba and find Bony you're doing pretty well."

The dapper Frenchman also harked back to his successful spell in charge of Zambia, who beat the Ivory Coast in the 2012 final, as an example of how to best utilize the attributes in a given squad.

"I think we have beaten the best team [Algeria] in the tournament.

"When I was with Zambia, the Ivory Coast were better than us but we won on penalties. You need to be realistic in football and put in place the tactics to win a game.

"This is not the Ivory Coast of the past. There are a lot of new players who I'm sure not many of you knew about before this tournament.

"These new players worked very hard in the preparations and showed me they are able to play in the starting line-up. We have a good balance between those who work hard and those with a lot of talent. I think this combination is perfect of the Ivory Coast."

Semi-final opponents DR Congo fought back from two goals down to beat Congo 4-2 in the quarter-finals, scoring four in the final 25 minutes to set up this meeting with the much-fancied Ivorians.

The nations last faced off in back-to-back qualifiers last October with Ivory Coast winning 2-1 away from home and DR Congo exacting revenge with a 4-3 triumph in Abidjan.

Bony netted in the victory in Kinshasa, while Toure was on the scoresheet on home soil.

DR Congo have won the African Cup of Nations on two occasions (1968 and 1974), while the Elephants have only been victorious once (1992).

The sides have met three times in the finals of the competition but only ever in the group stages, playing out a win each and one draw.

The Ivorians have a patchy semi-final record in Africa’s most prestigious international tournament, winning two, drawing and losing four, while DR Congo have a 50% success rate from their four semis.

Kick-off in Bata is at 19:00 (GMT), the match will be broadcast in the UK on ITV4 and we’ll have updates on our official Twitter account, as well as a match report here on mcfc.co.uk.

Ghana meet hosts Equatorial Guinea in the other semi-final in Malabo for the right to face Ivory Coast or DR Congo in Sunday’s final which takes place in Bata.

Everyone at the Club would like to wish Wilfried and Yaya all the best for Wednesday’s match.

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