COTE D’IVOIRE progressed to the quarterfinals of the men’s Olympic football tournament knocking out Rio 2016 runners-up Germany following a 1-1 draw at Miyagi Stadium in Rifu on Wednesday.
The fixture was billed as a winner-takes-all match as only one of the two sides could join Brazil in the knockout stages. Cote d’Ivoire came into the match in second place in Group D with four points, needing a draw to advance, while Germany, who lay in third a further point behind, needed a win.
After a tense first half which ended scoreless, Cote d’Ivoire took the lead in the 67th minute when Benjamin Heinrichs put the ball into his own net but the Germans leveled the tie six minutes later through substitute Eduard Lowen.
Neither side was able to find a winning goal handing Côte d’Ivoire the point they needed to go through to the last eight, equaling their best performance at the 2008 Games in Beijing.
The result also caps an impressive group stage performance by the West Africans who went unbeaten in a group that also featured the defending champions Brazil.
Egypt and South Africa play Australia and Mexico respectively later on Wednesday with both their chances of qualification hanging by a thread.