Ivory Coast ‘was getting better’ – Eriksson

2010-06-25 18:39

Ivory Coast’s failure to proceed to the next round of the 2010 Fifa

World Cup was a pity since the team was improving, according to coach Sven-Goran

Eriksson.

“It’s a pity, but that’s life and we have to accept that,” Eriksson

said at a briefing after the game during which Ivory Coast beat North Korea by

three goals to nil.

“It’s very difficult to go into a situation like the one we had,

where we needed (nine) goals to go through,” said Eriksson.

Ivory Coast came

out attacking from the start, with a near miss by Didier Drogba before the first

minute into the game was over.

The three goals came courtesy of Yaya Toure (14th minute), Romaric

(20th minute) and Salomon Kalou (82nd minute).

Eriksson said it was surprising that Ghana was the only African

team to qualify for the next round. “You would think that with the World Cup

being in Africa, more African teams would qualify.”

Spectator favourite Drogba, who was chosen as the man of the match

despite his attempts at goal being thwarted by North Korea’s beleaguered

goalkeeper, said he wished they had been in a better group.

“Had we been in a better group, we would have qualified,” the

pony-tailed striker said.

“But we can’t be too disappointed since Brazil and Portugal are

better than us.

“Playing against those teams is a dream for our country. So

although we were unlucky not to qualify, we were very lucky to play against such

teams.”

Speaking on this, their final performance, Drogba said: “We had a

lot of chances. We could have scored had we made better decisions.”

Drogba was pleased with his team’s overall performance,

nonetheless.

“We conceded a goal to Portugal when we could have scored. But

although our World Cup is over today, we can be proud of what we did to Brazil

and Portugal.”

Added Eriksson: “This team is a good team, a happy team, but not

today. We can leave with our heads held high.”

 

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