England acquire inexplicable indestructibility before Spain final | Jonathan Wilson

Tournaments don’t always make much sense so can Gareth Southgate’s side live up to the perception of destiny?

Ivory Coast lost their second group game at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations and followed it up by losing their third, 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea. They were, by any realistic assessment, on their way out of a tournament they were hosting, especially when Ghana went 2-0 up against Mozambique, which seemed to close off the possibility of the Ivorians going through as one of the four best third-place teams.

But then Mozambique scored twice in injury-time, Ivory Coast snuck through, sacked their manager and, after equalising with an 86th-minute penalty against Senegal, and equalising in the last minute when down to 10 men against Mali, the rest was history.

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