Drogba, Toure benched for Tunisia clash

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Drogba_Icoast Gallo Images Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba has been benched for the clash against Tunisia.

Rustenburg – Ivory Coast's talismanic captain Didier Drogba was dropped to the bench for Saturday's Africa Cup of Nations Group D tie against Tunisia.

The 34-year-old veteran, figuring at his last Nations Cup, proved a largely ineffectual presence in his team's opening 2-1 win over Togo, with coach Sabri Lamouchi taking him off with a quarter of an hour to go in that curtain-raiser.

Also out were Manchester City defender Kolo Toure and midfield duo Max Gradel and Didier Ya Konan.

Lamouchi called up Lille striker Salomon Kalou and Anzhi Makhachkala's young forward Lacina Traore, this pair joining Arsenal's Gervinho in attack, and Newcastle midfielder Cheik Tiote.

Former Spurs player Didier Zokora was handed the skipper's armband.

Tunisia's cause was severely hampered by the absence of key striker Issam Jemaa, who misses the rest of the competition with a knee injury sustained in the early stages against Algeria.

The only other change made by coach Sami Trabelsi was leaving out defender Walid Hichri, with attackers Hamdi Harbaoui and Fakhreddine Ben Youssef in.

A win for either team could be enough to seal an early quarter-final berth, if the second Group D match here later Saturday between Algeria and Togo ends in a draw. – Sapa-AFP

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