Drogba returns as Ivorians beat Mali

VALENCE - Didier Drogba returned to the Ivory Coast team but failed to score as the Elephants beat Mali 1-0 on Tuesday in an ill-tempered friendly on Tuesday.

Didier Ya Konan's third-minute goal won the game for Ivory Coast, who were celebrating the return of Drogba who was playing for his country for the first time since last year's World Cup after requesting time away from the international game.

Ya Konan was one of two players who later left the pitch on a stretcher as a result of some violent tackling.

The game had to be briefly stopped 12 minutes from the end when a fight broke out among the players. The match was then brought to a close two minutes early when the lights went out at the stadium in Valence, France.

The sides were using the match to prepare for next month's resumption of the qualifiers for the 2012 African Nations Cup.