Ivory Coast National Team

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  1. RedAL925

    RedAL925 TSL Commissioner

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    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  2. RedAL925

    RedAL925 TSL Commissioner

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    INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES - WEEK 3

    [​IMG] Ivory Coast 3-0 Czech Republic [​IMG]
    Ivory Coast opened their World Cup qualification campaign with a convincing 3-0 friendly win over Czech Republic. The Elephants were not sharp in the 1st half, clearly adjusting to the 4-2-3-1 formation deployed by manager RedAL. "The 1st half was all about acclimation. It's a new formation, a system I don't have much experience playing with, but one that is similar to the 4-3-3." The 2nd half was a different story, as the team gelled nicely, scoring 3 quick goals in 10 minutes time. Didier Drogba opened the scoring with a long-range blast before Yaya Toure did the same off a cleared corner. Drogba added his 2nd from the penalty spot (manager RedAL admitted it was a soft call after the match), and Ivory Coast killed off the game from there. "[Czech Republic] and manager BigSmooth33 are still readjusting to the style of play here...they will not be an easy out in European qualification once they get acclimated."

    [​IMG] Belgium 2-2 Ivory Coast [​IMG]

    In their 2nd match, Ivory Coast faced a highly-touted Belgium side filled with international superstars. The Elephants came out with a 4-4-2 formation in this match, as manager RedAL continued to tinker with his lineup. "In the 4-2-3-1 I felt that Yaya Toure and Cheik Tiote were not as involved as they should have been in the offense, so we played a flat 4-4-2 to get them higher up the field." It was the home side who scored first, as Vincent Kompany headed home from a corner in the 27th minute. Yaya Toure was cautioned for a professional foul just before halftime, and then was shown a 2nd yellow for a questionable shove early in the 2nd half. Down to 10 men, and without their best player, the Elephants braced for impact, and it wasn't long before Christian Benteke scored the 2nd goal for Belgium.

    "To be honest, we had no business coming back in that game. They were the better team for much of the match, but credit to our players, they showed great heart and determination to get back into the game." It was Tiote bundling home a loose ball in the 78th minute, before the final drama unfolded in the 90th minute, when K. Toure's shot from a corner kick deflected off the goalkeeper Copa, and rolled into the net for the equalizer. "It was an extraordinary turn of events, and for [Copa] to score a goal? I wouldn't believe you if you told me that at the start of the match."

    [​IMG] Italy 3-1 Ivory Coast [​IMG]

    Ivory Coast traveled to Italy for their final friendly match of the week, where the Elephants put up a valiant effort against the World Cup favorites, eventually falling 3-1. The Italians jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the 1st half, but Ivory Coast was able to pull one back through Gervinho. Making his debut, L. Traore had an equalizing header saved by the ageless Gianluigi Buffon. On the ensuing corner kick, Copa was caught out of his net, and Fabio Quagliarella fired in a shot from 50 yards to put the match out of reach. "There is no question they will be favorites in their qualification group, and the entire tournament."
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
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  3. RedAL925

    RedAL925 TSL Commissioner

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    WORLD CUP QUALIFICATION
    MATCHDAY 1

    [​IMG] Japan 0-0 Ivory Coast [​IMG]

    Ivory Coast and Japan played out a 0-0 draw to open World Cup Qualification for the Africa/Asia region. It was a battle of contrasting styles, as Japan's technical ability was canceled out by the strength and physicality of the Ivory Coast squad. Neither team did much in the 1st half, being careful not to make the 1st mistake. Into halftime, only 3 shots were taken between the two teams, with the visitors holding a 60%-40% edge in possession.

    The game opened up in the 2nd half, and it was Japan who made the most of it. In the 63' a flurry of chances in front of goal were squandered by the Blue Samurai. Just 10 minutes later, young Arsenal winger Ryo Miyaichi made his presence known with a clever run into the box, but his shot went wide. It seemed as though Japan had made their breakthrough moments later, but Miyaichi's goal was called back for offsides. The Ivorians did little to threaten Japan's goalkeeper, and soon the whistle blew on a rather dull 0-0 draw, all things considered. Ivory Coast goalkeeper A. Copa kissed his goal posts as he was handed man of the match honors, making 6 saves on the afternoon.

    "Our passing was sloppy, our shooting speculative. We need to improve offensively if we are to make it to the World Cup. That said, our defense performed admirably, and a road point in a hostile environment like that one is certainly something we can build upon for our next match."

    4-4-2 (R to L): Copa; Eboue, K. Toure, Aurier, Boka; Kalou, Tiote, Y. Toure, Gervinho; Doumbia (Bony 82'), Drogba

    Japan 0-0 Ivory Coast
    9 (6) Shots (SOT) 3 (2)
    42% Possession 58%
    20 Tackles 22
    1 Fouls 1
    0 Cards 0
    1 Offsides 2
    1 Corners 0

    Match Events:
    CS: E. Kawashima
    CS: A. Copa
    MotM: A. Copa


    NEXT WCQ MATCH: The Elephants will travel to Australia for their next World Cup Qualification match, the week of Feb. 19. The Socceroos were defeated 3-0 by Ghana in their first match.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  4. RedAL925

    RedAL925 TSL Commissioner

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    WORLD CUP QUALIFICATION
    MATCHDAY 2

    [​IMG] Australia 0-1 Ivory Coast [​IMG]
    Ivory Coast put in another solid defensive performance en route to a 1-0 win down under. Only one change was made from the team's 0-0 draw at Japan in the last round, as W. Bony was preferred at striker in this game over the speedy S. Doumbia. The first half was an uneventful one, with the best chance coming from an Australian counter-attack. The resulting shot was saved by A. Copa, and the teams went into halftime on level pegging.

    The second half started much like the first, with both teams making crucial interceptions to keep the other off the score sheet. It took a bit of magic from the foot of S. Kalou to break the deadlock. His dribbling skill allowed him to break free of his defender, and the resulting cross was met by captain D. Drogba, who headed in the game's only goal. Gervinho could have made it two late in the match, but his shot was toed over the bar by M. Schwarzer to limit the damage.

    "Another strong defensive performance from the group tonight. We still haven't found our scoring touch despite the weapons available to us, but as long as we defend well, we should get into the World Cup," said manager RedAL after the match. "Copa has been outstanding so far in the qualifiers, and S. Aurier had a massive game at the back tonight." The win puts the Elephants at the top of the Africa/Asia qualification group, but both Ghana and Senegal have a game in hand.

    4-4-2 (R to L): Copa; Eboue, K. Toure, Aurier, Boka; Kalou, Tiote, Y. Toure, Gervinho; Bony (Zokora 80'), Drogba


    Australia 0-1 Ivory Coast
    3 (2) Shots (SOT) 5 (3)
    49% Possession 51%
    21 Tackles 14
    1 Fouls 0
    0 Cards 0
    2 Offsides 0
    0 Corners 3

    Match Events:
    :goal: D. Drogba (78') :assist: S. Kalou

    CS: A. Copa
    MotM: S. Aurier


    Drogba's strong header puts Ivory Coast on top


    Schwarzer keeps Gervinho off the score sheet with toe save
    (Hard to tell from the replay, but it was indeed a save)
    NEXT WCQ MATCH: The Elephants will play their first home qualifier of the tournament against Senegal the week of April 9. Before that match, Ivory Coast will have international friendlies the week of March 19.
     
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