Friendships On Hold For African Trio
Written by Newcastle Utd
Newcastle United FC
Cheick Tiote looks ahead to Saturday's African Cup of Nations qualifier between his Ivory Coast and Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba's Senegal
By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Cheick Tiote has admitted that friendships will be put on hold when the Ivory Coast take on Senegal in a winner-takes it all African Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday.
Despite an amazing looping header from outside the box scored by Cisse, Ivory Coast are 4-2 up after last month's first leg as both teams battle for one place in the 16-team tournament in South Africa next year.
Although it's being played 3,000 miles away from Tyneside, the match could have a big impact on Newcastle's season as Alan Pardew will either be without his key anchor man or two of his forwards for up to a month in January and February 2013.
And, ever the competitor, Tiote is determined that it will be Ba and Cisse who stay at home while the Ivory Coast look to go one better than this year's tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, when they were beaten by Zambia on penalties in the final.
"It'll be good to play against them," the 26-year-old from Yamoussoukro told nufc.co.uk.
"I play against them in training but that's not the same as playing against them for their country.
"It'll be different. But even though they are my friends, I want to beat them!"
When the teams met in Abijan for the first leg, Senegal twice took the lead through Dame Ndoye and Cisse but Salomon Kalou and Gervinho equalised on both occasions before Didier Drogba and Max Gradel gave the Elephants a commanding lead.
But Tiote knows that anything could still happen in Senegal's capital city, where Cisse was born in 1985.
"It's the second game against Senegal and it's going to be hard because they've got some good players," he warned.
"It's going to be a tough game but that's football and we'll do everything to win."
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