22 penalties drama but Cheick Tiote still on missing list
There was massive drama on Sunday night with 22 penalties and African Cup of Nations triumph but Cheick Tiote is still on the missing list.
The Newcastle midfielder last played on 24 January in the group match against Mali and since then he hasn’t featured at all for the Ivory Coast.
Two yellow cards, as well as a knock to the ankle, kept Tiote out of the third group match.
However, since then he hasn’t featured for his country.
National Coach Herve Renard said he expected Cheick Tiote to be on the bench for the quarter final against Algeria on 1 February but he was nowhere to be seen, despite all other 11 members of the squad on the subs bench who weren’t in the starting 11.
It was the same for the semi against DR Congo, then also on Sunday night Tiote was the only one of the 23 man squad not on either the pitch or the bench.
He missed a classic finale as after two hours of goalless football, the match sprang into life.
In the initial five penalties the Ivory Coast missed two, only for Ghana to do the same.
After that every player on both sides scored their kicks, leaving it to the two keepers to take the eleventh ones.
Brimah Razak saw his penalty saved by Boubacar Barry, who then dusted himself down and smashed home the winning penalty.
Nothing like a good penalty shoot-out when you’re not involved!
So Cheick Tiote will return with an African Cup of Nations winning medal but how long his ankle will keep him out is another matter.
It will also be interesting to see what the future holds at club level for one of Mike Ashley’s top paid players who will turn 29 before next season.
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