Another Africa Cup of Nations, another failure for the Ivory Coast's "golden generation."
But while Didier Drogba may never get the chance to lift the continent's coveted trophy, another African football superpower is on course to end its own long wait for success.
Nigeria set up a semifinal clash with Mali by beating the seemingly perennial tournament-favorite Ivorians 2-1 in Rustenburg on Sunday.
The "Super Eagles" have not won the title since 1994, a year the team reached fifth in the world rankings -- the highest by any African nation.
Since then Nigeria has had to settle for three third placings between 2002-10, and didn't even qualify for last year's tournament.
It was a period of turmoil, as the country's president Goodluck Jonathan at first banned the national side for two years after a poor showing at the 2010 World Cup before world ruling body FIFA threatened even harsher sanctions, and the ruler backed down.
Under the guidance of former international player Stephen Keshi, Nigeria came through Group C with a win and two draws this month and then beat a side that the coach called "the top team on the continent."
"I want to thank God for this wonderful victory, and sincerely thank my players for everything they did today. I hope we can keep going to the final," the former Togo and Mali coach told reporters ahead of Wednesday's semi in Durban.
"Ivory Coast are the top team on the continent with lots of quality, so we tried to speed up and try to catch out players like Drogba and Yaya Toure.
"I'm glad my team is progressing in every game -- there is great discipline in the team and I just hope we keep going that way."