No surprises as Ivory Coast picks strongest team

GERALD IMRAY AP Sports Writer Published:

LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) -- Didier Drogba, Yaya and Kolo Toure, Gervinho and Salomon Kalou were all included in Ivory Coast's starting lineup Sunday for the African Cup of Nations final against Zambia.

Coach Francois Zahoui sprang no surprises, keeping the same team that started the 1-0 semifinal win over Mali at Stade de l'Amitie -- also the venue for the deciding game.

Zambia made two changes after surprising Ghana in the last four. Defender Chisamba Lungu came in for Francis Kasonde and forward Emmanuel Mayuka, who scored the winner against Ghana as a substitute, replaced James Chamanga.

Zambia's Christopher Katongo, Mayuka and Drogba are joint-leading scorers at the tournament with three goals each.

Ivory Coast is the top-ranked African team and favorite to win the title.