MALABO, Equatorial Guinea - Angola was eliminated from the African Cup of Nations on Monday after a 2-0 loss to already-qualified Ivory Coast allowed Sudan to squeeze into the quarterfinals.

Emmanuel Eboue scored in the 32nd minute and Wilfried Bony added a second in the 64th as cup favourite Ivory Coast sealed a third straight victory and first place in Group B.

The result meant Sudan progressed in second place on goal difference after beating Burkina Faso 2-1 in the other group match. Burkina Faso was already out.

Ivory Coast, which made nine changes to its starting lineup against Angola, will play co-host Equatorial Guinea in the last eight, while Sudan will play Zambia.

"We know the match against Equatorial Guinea will be very hard because it's against the organizing country and they are playing on their home pitch," Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui said.

Angola had needed only a draw to guarantee progression and coach Lito Vidigal cut a sullen figure as he faced reporters after the match.

"We lost because we played against a very strong team in Ivory Coast, which is one of the main candidates to win this tournament," he said. "We did a good job and worked hard, but unfortunately we couldn't quite make it."

Already safely into the quarterfinals, captain Didier Drogba was among those rested for Ivory Coast, with just central defenders Kolo Toure and Souleymane Bamba retained from the 2-0 win against Burkina Faso. Drogba came on as a second-half substitute.

"I'll have a very difficult decision to make for the next match," Zahoui said. "I know I'll have this problem of too much choice, but I'd rather have this problem than not have enough options."

Vidigal was forced into a goalkeeping change with Wilson replacing the suspended Carlos Fernandes, while Dede was preferred to Flavio.

Ivory Coast winger Max Gradel had the first opening after turning on a throw-in and rifling a shot straight at Wilson from a tight angle in the fifth minute.

Bony broke through the middle shortly after and drilled a low shot that forced Wilson to dive to his right and tip the ball round the post in the 15th minute.

Neither team found much rhythm during the opening stages in the eerie atmosphere of the near-empty Nuevo Estadio de Malabo.

Kolo Toure blasted a low shot wide after a free kick was nudged to him in the 23rd, while Andre Macanga sliced a long-range effort off-target for Angola soon after.

Bony made the opening goal after a strong run into the box before sending a cross into the middle that Miguel Quiami failed to clear. Eboue forced the loose ball home.

Eboue was joined by Drogba and Ivory Coast's other rested stars for a jig at the corner flag in celebration.

In the other Group B match in Bata, Sudan led Burkina Faso 1-0 at halftime to leave the second qualification spot finely balanced.

At that stage, another goal for Ivory Coast would have eliminated Angola and the opening 15 minutes of the second half were tense.

Angola's defence then pressed the self-destruct button again as Dany Massunguna headed a long pass from Ivory Coast substitute Abdul Kader Keita over his own goalkeeper to present Bony with an open goal in the 64th minute.

Angola pressured in the final stages but was unable to pierce an Ivory Coast defence that earned its third straight clean sheet.

"We know if we leave here not having gone all the way, everything that we have done up to now will be in vain," Zahoui said. "I'll be really happy when I have reached the goal of really pleasing the Ivorians that are supporting us. There are a lot of prayers behind us."

Latest From ...