first_imgRustenburg may be one of the world’s top platinum mining centres, but gold is the precious commodity Ivory Coast are digging for when they take on Togo Tuesday.For the fifth consecutive time, Didier Drogba’s Elephants are favourites to win the Africa Cup of Nations and the continent’s top-ranked team will be expected to dispatch Group D minnows Togo with ease.With tricky Maghreb opposition in the shape of former champions Tunisia and Algeria ahead, the Ivorians will be anxious to get their 2013 campaign off to a flying start.For 34-year-old Drogba, Africa’s most famous footballing son, this is the last chance to finally add the coveted crown to his over-laden trophy cabinet.At the 2012 Nations Cup, Ivory Coast remained undefeated only to suffer an agonising penalty shoot-out loss to Zambia in the final in Libreville.Ironically, Drogba’s missed penalty in regulation time set up the Zambians for victory. The decision to switch the competition from even to odd years has offered the China-based forward one last throw of the Nations Cup dice.On paper, at least, Tuesday’s Group D opener is a lop-sided affair, with Togo a yawning 63 rungs behind Ivory Coast on FIFA’s world rankings’ ladder.With Drogba and the Toure brothers Kolo and Yaya from English Premier League champions Manchester City in their midst the Ivorians are oozing class — yet remain Cup-less.This so-called ‘golden generation’ has failed to emulate the class of 1992, which brought the Nations Cup title to Abidjan for the only time after winning a marathon shoot-out over Ghana in Senegal.They lost the 2006 final in Cairo on penalties to Egypt, with the Pharaohs sweeping them aside 4-1 in the semi-finals two years later. In 2010 they were undone by Algeria, who won a quarter-final thriller in extra time, before going so close in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea last year.Drogba, whose mother set up a street stall cooking food for fans in Gabon, is hungrier than ever to take the coveted prize.“It would be great to win the trophy now. Honestly, we are getting tired of losing out each time,” says the striker who plans to make his international swansong at the 2014 World Cup should Ivory Coast make it to Brazil.“This Africa Cup is undoubtedly my last. I want to pour my whole heart and strength into it.“We have come so close to winning the trophy twice, but that doesn’t mean we should slow down. We have learnt from our failures and are returning to win the title.” Ivory Coast are coached this year by inexperienced Frenchman Sabri Lamouchi.Togo, back for the first time since the Cabinda attack in Angola in 2010 when two members of their entourage were killed by separatists in the oil-rich enclave, have nothing to lose.Their return, though, was clouded by Emmanuel Adebayor’s interminable ‘will he compete, won’t he compete’ saga.The Tottenham striker has retired more times than Frank Sinatra, but finally decided to join up with his compatriots following a little arm-twisting from the tiny west African nation’s president.Although he may have scored only twice for Spurs this term, Adebayor is undoubtedly the star of the national side, equalising away and opening the scoring at home against Gabon in the decisive qualifier. Togo’s ‘reward’ for making it to South Africa was being drawn with three of the top 10 teams in Africa, yet French coach Didier Six is undaunted.“We are not afraid of these big teams. This group is difficult, but we have a new generation that want to make a name for itself. There is everything to gain and nothing to lose.”last_img read more

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error • King’s Hawaiian Dog, an all-beef quarter-pound hot dog topped off with a pineapple salsa, served on King’s Hawaiian bread• Pastrami Burger, a quarter-pound beef patty on a potato bun topped with hot pastrami, drizzled stone-ground mustard served with Kettle Style home chips and a pickle spear• Shock Top Bratwurst, spicy pork bratwurst link infused with Shock Top beer served on a buttered-grilled lobster roll with caramelized onions and spicy brown mustard• Cast Iron Corn Bread and Fried Chicken available at the Stadium Club Bar with limited quantities per dayChanges to Dodger Stadium include more standing room tables and stools at the top of the park to give all fans an opportunity to take in picturesque Dodger Stadium. More memorabilia is now on display throughout Dodger Stadium, including added exhibits on the top deck, in the Press Box gallery on the club level and on the field level at the entries near the right and left-field bullpen bars and at the baseline clubs.Several upgrades to the electrical infrastructure throughout Dodger Stadium were also made, increasing lighting throughout the stadium.Improvements were also made to guide fans safely through the parking lots and along the routes used when fans take the Dodger Stadium Express to and from the stadium.New merchandise available includes “Star Wars”-themed pennants, cups and lanyards and a Marvel movie series lanyard. A New Era store is now at Loge Section 150.A dedicated Uber Zone has been established in Lot 12 for fans to meet their drivers after the game. Fans using Uber to come to Dodger Stadium can be dropped off at any of the five entry gates.Auto gates and stadium gates will open at 10 a.m. Pregame entertainment will begin 10 a.m., pregame ceremonies at 12:15 p.m., with Kenta Maeda throwing the first pitch at 1:10 p.m.Live music will be offered throughout the stadium from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Angel City Dixie Band will play in the left field reserve level, a disc jockey KKRL-FM (92.3) will be in the right field reserve level, DJ AM in the right field plaza, a disc jockey from KIIS-FM (102.7) in the left field plaza and a disc jockey from KBIG-FM (104.3) on the top deck.The famed Budweiser Clydesdales will make stops around the inner parking circle beginning at 10:30 a.m., continuing throughout the pregame activities.Sam Harris, lead singer of the alternative rock band X Ambassadors will perform the national anthem.Representatives of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force will present the colors. Members of the U.S. armed forces will unfurl a giant flag in center field, a display in the shape of the United States.The Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division will conduct a formation flight.The ceremonial first pitch will honor Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully, who is in his unprecedented 67th and final season with the team. Pregame ceremonies will celebrate many of the great moments in Scully’s career.Retired U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard Sgt. Eddie Arambula of Torrance will be honored as the Military Hero of the Game. Arambula joined the U.S. Army in 2002 and in March 2004 was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II.Arambula later joined the U.S. Coast Guard as maritime enforcement specialist. In 2011, he deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.center_img LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers will play their home opener at a sold-out Dodger Stadium today against the Arizona Diamondbacks with changes to the concession stand menus and stadium.New food items include:• The Gouda Kobe Burger, Kobe beef, topped with caramelized onions, pickle, smoked Gouda and special dressing, available at Elysian Park Grill• Dodger Dog topped with Pulled Pork available at the smokehouse stand at the Think Blue Barbecuelast_img read more