Cheick Tiote was once again missing as his teammates ‘coasted’ into the African Cup of Nations final with a comfortable 3-1 win over DR Congo.
Goals from Yaya Toure, Gervinho and Kanon securing the win for Ivory Coast and a place in Sunday’s final against either Equatorial Guinea or Ghana who meet later today.
Tiote played in the first two group matches but missed Ivory Coast’s deciding third game against Cameroon through suspension after picking up two yellow cards.
In advance of yesterday’s match, Ivory Coast Coach Herve Renard had confirmed that Cheick Tiote was also still suffering from an ankle injury he picked up against Mali in the second group game, which had caused him to miss the last eight match against Algeria as well.
However, Renard reported that the Newcastle midfielder had resumed training with his teammates and that he was back in the squad for Wednesday’s semi-final, but woukd hav eto settle for a place on the bench.
Herve Renard saying;
“Cheick Tiote has started light training and he is in the squad but it will be difficult for him to start the game.”
However, in the event, Cheick Tiote wasn’t even on the bench last night, even though all other eleven players in the squad who didn’t start the game were named as substitutes.
Whether the midfielder is involved in Sunday’s final or not, he is certain to miss the next Newcastle fixture on Sunday against Stoke and almost sure to also miss the reunion with Alan Pardew next Wednesday.
With the ankle still causing problems though, it remains to be seen whether Cheick Tiote will be missing for even longer when he eventually returns to Tyneside.