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Drogba double for Cote d'Ivoire sparks riot in Dakar

Updated: 2012-10-15 17:27

CAPE TOWN - Two goals from Cote d'Ivoire's Didier Drogba sparked a riot in Senegal on Saturday forcing the abandonment of the biggest African Nations Cup qualifier of the weekend after police fired tear gas in the stadium.

The trouble in Dakar overshadowed qualification for Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and holders Zambia who are all through to the finals in South Africa in January.

Drogba's latest talismanic performance proved too much for the Senegal fans who invaded the pitch, threw objects and lit small fires in the packed stands after their team went 2-0 down and 6-2 behind on aggregate in the final round tie.

Drogba double for Cote d'Ivoire sparks riot in Dakar

Senegalese football fans light fires at Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium in Dakar, Oct 13, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

Police were forced to clear the away supporters to safety, leading many of them to the middle of the pitch, and then sent a vehicle on to the field to evacuate the match officials before the game was called off about 14 minutes from full time.

It is likely the Cote d'Ivoire side will be awarded the tie but there was no official confirmation on Saturday from the governing Confederation of African Football whose Cairo office was closed.

Striker Drogba's free kick just after halftime extended Cote d'Ivoire's two-goal lead from the first leg and then converted a 71st minute penalty which sparked the violence.

The riot, which highlighted the explosive nature of the African game, put a dampener on a day of excitement on the pitch across the continent with Zambia needing a penalty shootout win to ensure they can defend their crown at next year's finals.

Drogba double for Cote d'Ivoire sparks riot in Dakar

Senegal's Papiss Demba Cisse (C) and Pape Souare (L), and Ivory Coast's striker Didier Drogba (4th L) leave Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium in Dakar, Oct 13, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

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