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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group G - Ivory Coast

Nickname – Les Éléphants (The Elephants)


In between second and third round of qualifying Ivory Coast delivered 8 wins, 4 draws and remained unbeaten, scoring 29 against 6 conceded goals with a total of 28 points of 36 possible. Usual suspect Drogba was the top scorer with 6 goals. Feels like this can be their year after that disastrous exit from the African Cup of Nations losing with Algeria.


Jun 15 Pt Elizabeth Ivory Coast v Portugal - No matches played. Last 2 games played against European nations saw them getting away draws against Germany and Turkey. Their last defeat against European side was in 2007. Not even after the first airplane got into the air in 1907 an African nation defeated Portugal. That is why history is about to be made in this crucial match from the Group G.

Jun 20 Johannesburg Brazil v Ivory Coast - No matches played. Last time Brazil lost a competitive match against an African side was in 2003 for the Confederations cup. 0-1 vs. Cameroon. For those who have not born after 1959, Ivory Coast never won a match against a South American nation. Can Drogba edge HIStory?

Jun 25 Nelspruit North Korea v Ivory Coast - No matches played. Last time Ivory Coast won against Asian opposition was in January of 2008 0-2 against Kuwait. For instance, to see North Korea winning we have to travel to 1993 when they won against Finland and at the time URSS. They will the best friends with Algeria, spending holiday in South Africa.

Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren), Aristides Zogbo (Maccabi Netanya), Daniel Yeboah (ASEC Abidjan)

Defenders: Souleymane Bamba (Hibernian), Arthur Boka (VfB Stuttgart), Guy Demel (Hamburg SV), Emmanuel Eboue (Arsenal), Steve Gohouri (Wigan Athletic), Siaka Tiene (Valenciennes), Kolo Toure (Manchester City), Benjamin Brou Angoua (Valenciennes)

Midfielders: Jean-Jacques Gosso Gosso (Monaco), Abdelkader Keita (Galatasaray), Emmanuel Kone (International Curtea Arges), Gervais Yao Kouassi (Lille), Christian Koffi Ndri (Sevilla), Cheik Ismael Tiote (Twente Enschede), Yaya Toure (Barcelona), Didier Zokora (Sevilla)

Strikers: Aruna Dindane (Lekhwiya), Seydou Doumbia (Young Boys Berne), Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Salomon Kalou (Chelsea)


Sven Goran Eriksson plays the 4-3-3 in an offensive minded set game to take advantage of the stamina and pace that resource Ivory Coast’s midfield and attack. Barry; Boka, Eboue, K. Toure, Gohouri; Zokora, Y. Toure, Kalou; Dindane, Drogba & Gervais/Keita.


Kolo Toure is the captain of Manchester City soon after his move from Arsenal. Playing a total of 41 matches he was defensively instrumental and voice of command that sets the moral that drives throughout the match for both club and country. Among his best traits we can testify the experience, tackling excellence, strength and stamina as well as a strong aerial ability.

Kalou currently plays for the Premier League outfit Chelsea where he accomplished his best season there in 2010 playing 30 matches getting 12 goals and assisting 3 times; other than that he won almost everything Chelsea could have got his hands to. His versatility and pace combined with his objective perspective of the game itself transform him in a severe threat to Ivory Coast’s opponents. Even though the best African nations tend to play under a sustainable offensive style, when the opportunity arrive to play on the counter-attack Ivory Coast for instance has Kalou to bring devastation to adversary’s team.

Drogba is one of the best players in the World and infamous known for his prolific goal accuracy from every centimeter on the field. 48 matches, 11 assists and a staggering 44 goals made under his signature this season. Even though he has been injured in warm-up match against Japan a few days before the World Cup, he will surely feature even if still injured to help the Elephants to rise on this occasion. There are few words that can describe this Chelsea’s striker that is so close to perfection in terms of football ability.


"At the last World Cup we played really well, but we were unlucky because we were in a very tough group with Argentina and Holland and went out in the first round. But I think with this kind of experience, it will be possible at South Africa 2010 to do much better. Perhaps we can make the quarter-finals and then semi-finals; this is something we can achieve," Côte d'Ivoire striker Didier Drogba.


- Sven Goran Eriksson –

1 Cup Winners Cup – Lazio Rome - 1999;

1 UEFA Cup - IFK Göteborg - 1982;

1 European Supercup – Lazio Rome - 1999;

1 Serie A – Lazio Rome - 2000;

4 Coppa Italia – Lazio Rome – 1998, 2000 /Sampdoria – 1994/ AS Roma - 1986;

2 Supercoppa – Lazio Rome – 1998, 2000;

4 Portuguese Liga – Benfica – 1983, 1984, 1989, 1991;

1 Supertaça Portugal – Benfica - 1989.

Career made of 797 matches with 52% Win, 26% Draw, 21% Loss, GS 1,71 GA 0,96


Strength – The physicality and pacy approach from African Nations especially Ivory Coast rate them as a strong challenger. If beyond that you pick Kalou, Drogba, Toure brothers and Gervais for instance then you will have a massive deadly threat regarding a defensive/offensive threat.

Weaknesses – Their highly offensive strategy can disrupt their defensive line which can be taken by advantage from opponents. They often concede goals whether they score or not.

Opportunities – Winning against Portugal will deliver them the qualification for the second round with no doubt.

Threats – Failing to win against Portugal in the opening day of the group will pressure them to get a positive result against Brazil in the last match.


Number 27 of the world ranking ahead of Paraguay, Algeria and Ghana and behind of Switzerland, Slovenia, Australia and Nigeria.


1 African Cup of Nations – 1992



Germany 2 2 Ivory Coast

Tanzania 0 1 Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast 2 0 Rwanda

Ivory Coast 0 0 Burkina Faso

Ivory Coast 3 1 Ghana

Ivory Coast NP Togo

Ivory Coast 2 3 Algeria

Ivory Coast 0 2 South Korea

Paraguay 2 2 Ivory Coast

Japan 0 2 Ivory Coast

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