Friday, February 11, 2011

11 February 2003 - The Leader Of The Pack

On 11 February 2003, striker Didier Drogba scored his first goal for Côte d'Ivoire in a 3-0 rout of Cameroon. He is currently their top scorer with a total of 45 goals.

He earned his first cap the previous September when, at 24 years old, he appeared in the opening match of the Elephants' qualifying campaign for the 2004 African Cup of Nations, a scoreless draw against South Africa. The friendly against Cameroon followed.

Playing in front of a crowd of 3,000 at Cameroon's Stade Gaston-Petit, the visitors went up 0-1 with a goal from midfielder Tchiressoua Guel in the 37th minute. Drogba claimed his first goal eight minutes later, doubling the lead right before the break. He was subbed out in the 63rd minute. Bonaventure Kalou then converted an 83rd-minute penalty to end the scoring at 0-3.

Drogba contributed three more goals that year, but Côte d'Ivoire failed to qualify for the ACN. They finished as runners-up in 2006, however, and also qualified that year for their first World Cup. Drogba, meanwhile, now captains the national team and has become a prolific scorer, winning both the Premier League golden boot and the Ivorian Footballer of the Year award in 2007 and 2010.

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