Late Drogba strike earns Ivory Coast draw

ISTANBUL - Chelsea striker Didier Drogba marked his return to international action with an injury-time strike which earned Ivory Coast a 1-1 draw against Turkey in a friendly on Wednesday.

Turkey striker Gokhan Unal had put the home side ahead in the 11th minute, firing in a powerful shot from the edge of the area into the top right corner of the goal.

Drogba, back on the team after more than a year-long absence, and his Ivory Coast team mates failed to create a significant threat in the early stages of the match, played in the Aegean coastal city of Izmir.

Gokhan had the chance to double Turkey's lead in the 33rd minute but fired the ball over the bar.

Drogba went close the scoring in the 34th minute in a race to the ball against Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Demirel, but lost out.

As the match entered its final stages, Ivory Coast began to be more effective in attack and Drogba got his reward in injury time, running in towards the far post and latching on to a cross to score from close range.

Turkey are second in their World Cup qualifying Group Five with eight points, four behind leaders and European champions Spain. Turkey will play their next qualifier away against Spain on March 28.