Arsenal Forward Gervinho Scores Cracking AFCON Winner for Ivory Coast (Video)

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterJanuary 23, 2013

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 22:  Gervinho of Ivory Coast in action during the 2013 Orange African Cup of Nations match between Ivory Coast and Togo at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on January 22, 2013 in Rustenburg, South Africa.
(Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Oh, sure, now he hits the target.

Gervinho, the Ivorian forward normally associated with feats like this in his day job with Arsenal, scored a lovely goal Tuesday at the international level. It came in the closing minutes of Ivory Coast's match against Togo at the Africa Cup of Nations, and it turned out to be the winner.

Visual proof appears in the video below. It serves as our Set Piece Video of the Day for this Wednesday. Enjoy and marvel at event that can only be considered as rare and precious as the appearance of Halley's Comet.

Here's what happened.

Ivory Coast, beaten finalists last year and tournament favorites this time around, took the lead through Manchester City's Yaya Toure in the eighth minute. Togo's Jonathan Ayite scored from a corner to level the score in the 45th minute.

Ayite's equalizer was quite a shock to the Ivorians, who waltzed through last year's event without conceding a goal in normal play (they were beaten by Zambia on penalties in the final).

Togo put the ball in the net again in the second half, but Dare Nibombe's header was ruled out controversially because the referee ruled that Togo had taken the preceding corner too quickly.

Then, in the 88th minute, Gervinho struck. Toure whipped in a beautiful free kick from the right, and Gervinho met it at the far post with a sweet outside-of-the-right-boot finish.

The goal was so nice, in fact, that one could almost see what convinced Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to shell out a reported €10.5 million. Almost.

Anyhow, Gervinho's lovely strike gave Ivory Coast a 2-1 win that left coach Sabri Lamouchi unimpressed

"I'm happy with the win, but we made too many mistakes and will have to use this game as a lesson," said Lamouchi (per BBC Sport).

So what do you think, readers? Can Gervinho inspire Ivory Coast to glory? Or is another Bradford moment bound to happen?