Africa Cup of Nations favourites Ivory Coast drew with Sierra Leone late on in barely believable circumstances on Sunday night, with goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare forced off injured after conceding a bizarre own goal deep into second-half stoppage time. Sangare mistakenly dropped the ball for the Ivorian’s opponents to equalise at the death at the Japoma Stadium in Cameroon.
There was only minutes left when Sangare came out to collect a ball headed back to him by his own defender.
The keeper had to dive to gather it however to prevent Ivory Coast conceding a late corner.
But while diving, Sangare’s right knee seemed to dig into the dry turf and he flipped over and lost control of the ball, fumbling it goalwards to Steven Caulker.
Centre-back Caulker then squared across goal for Alhaji Kamara who was able to fire home from close range to make it 2-2.
Sangare couldn’t bring himself to his feet due to his injury and watched on in anguish as Kamara scored.
Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe had put Ivory Coast 2-1 up against Sierra Leone after Musa Noah Kamara had cancelled out an opener from Ajax striker Sebastien Haller, who used to play for West Ham.
But Sangare’s unfortunate and strange error that led to the own goal stopped the Ivorians from making it two wins from two.
The full extent of the Uthongathi FC keeper’s injury currently remains unclear.
Ivory Coast’s final Group E match sees them take on Algeria on Thursday (4pm UK time).
There is in the meantime likely to be plenty of debate around the state of the pitch that Ivory Coast played Sierra Leone on, which appeared treacherous.