Before the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament started earlier this month, Wilfried Bony had been newly minted as the best paid African footballer in history, with his signing by Manchester City.
His performance leading Les Elephants to a 3-1 victory over Algeria shows why.
Bony scored twice Sunday to silence The Desert Foxes– Africa’s top-rated team– and take Cote D’Ivoire into the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Bony’s 26th minute header was answered with a left-footed howler by Algeria’s Soudani in the 51st minute.
Another header by Bony in the 68th minute, on a set piece cross from Yaya Toure put Cote D’Ivoire in the lead. And Gervinho, back after serving a two-game suspension for an opening match red card, sealed the win in extra time.
The Elephants will face the Democratic Republic of Congo in one of the semifinal matches on Wednesday.
The other semifinal match-up will feature hometown favorites Equatorial Guinea playing Ghana, who decisively shutout Guinea with a 3-0 win on Sunday.
Christian Atsu was the hero for the Black Stars, scoring once in the 4th minute and the second in the 61st minute. Atsu’s first was a thing of beauty with a backheeled cross from Andre Ayew that Atsu nailed home from 8 yards out.
A clearly outplayed Guinea didn’t make things easier for themselves when defender Baissama Sankoh botched a clearance in the 44th minute and Kwesi Appiah ran clean though to slot the ball home.