drogba sparkles

IN-FORM: Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba controls the ball against Kuwait. Pic. Tariq Alali. 12/01/2008. © Retuter.
IN-FORM: Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba controls the ball against Kuwait. Pic. Tariq Alali. 12/01/2008. © Retuter.

Didier Drogba started his first game since a knee operation last month and scored in Ivory Coast's 2-0 Africa Cup of Nations warm-up win over Kuwait in Kuwait City on Saturday.

Didier Drogba started his first game since a knee operation last month and scored in Ivory Coast's 2-0 Africa Cup of Nations warm-up win over Kuwait in Kuwait City on Saturday.

Drogba, who came on as a substitute last week for his English club Chelsea in his first match back after a month-long lay-off, got the second goal of the game.

It was the African footballer of the year's 30th goal for the Ivorians in 47 international appearances.

His Chelsea teammate Salomon Kalou had opened the scoring six minutes earlier for the team coached by Frenchman Gerard Gili, who replaced German Uli Stielike last Monday.

Stielike temporarily handed over control after his son fell ill.

Guinea, Senegal and Morocco also won warm-up matches on Saturday beating fellow Nations Cup finalists.

English-based strikers Diomansy Kamara and Henri Camara scored for Senegal who beat Namibia 3-1 in Dakar. Kamara netted the first two and Camara got Senegal's third seven minutes from time.

Wing back Brian Brendell scored Namibia's consolation goal. Morocco netted twice before the hour mark in Fez to overcome Zambia in their warm-up match after a goalless first half.

Porto winger Tarik Sektioui opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Youssef Hadji was tripped and Soufiane Alloudi added a second nine minutes later.

A goal from Camille Zayatte was enough for Guinea to beat Sudan 1-0 in their match in Estepona, Spain on Saturday, the second meeting between the two countries in 24 hours.

On Friday, Souleymane Youla scored four goals and Ismael Bangoura and Victor Correa got the other goals in a 6-0 win for Guinea over the Sudanese, who are returning to the Nations Cup finals for the first time in over three decades.

Yesterday, four other finalists were set to continue their fine tuning before the start of the tournament in Ghana on Saturday, January 20.

In Portugal, Angola played Egypt in Alverca do Ribatejo while South Africa met neighbours Mozambique in Durban (See Back Page).

Mali, who are training in Abu Dhabi, travelled a short journey to Kish Island to meet hosts Iran. - Reuters

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