Cote d’ Ivoire have qualified for the quarter final stage of the men’s Olympic football tournament, following a 1-1 draw with Germany at the Miyagi Stadium in Rifu on Wednesday.
Benjamin Heinrichs’ own goal had put the Germans behind in the 67th minute after a bright start into the encounter.
However, the Germans responded six minutes later through Eduard Lowen’s stunning free kick to set up a tense finish but they were unable to find a winner.
The Germans came into the match a point behind their opponent and knowing anything less than a victory would mean they were knocked out. But, both teams went on to share the spoils.
With the draw, Ivory Coast became the first African side to advance into the knockout phase of the men’s football tournament at the Olympics.
The Ivoirians won their group opener 2-1 against Saudi Arabia last week, before playing out a 0-0 draw two days later.
Ivory Coast, unbeaten in the group, finished second to Brazil while third-place Germany joined Saudi Arabia in exiting the competition at the first hurdle.
The Ivoirians will hope to achieve the same feat as Nigeria and Cameroon at the Olympics — the only teams from the continent to win gold in the men’s event.
Meanwhile, Africa’s powerhouses, Egypt and South Africa face possible exit from the tournament as they sit bottom of their respective groups.