Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Afcon

Sabri Lamouchi © Backpagepix

First big test for the Ivoirians



Africa Cup of Nations 2013 favourites Ivory Coast face their first big test against Nigeria on Sunday at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, in the quarterfinals of the continental competition.

The team qualified for the second round of the tournament after their second Group D match, following two successive wins against Togo and Tunisia.

A draw against Algeria followed and the Elephants now meet up with one of Africa’s football greats to fight for a place in the semis.

But for the Selefanto national team coach Sabri Lamouchi, the discourse remains the same ahead of this crucial clash, given that the only alternative to qualification is a return trip home.

“As much as we don’t fear anyone, we don’t underestimate anyone either,” stated the French-Tunisian tactician on Friday in a press conference.

And it must be said that the Elephants appear confident.

“There is a sense of the collective, a solidarity, a passion to win that is important. That is what we have to hold on to. Our goal of six finals remains steadfast.

“Now, it’s Nigeria and we have to go and get this win to remain in the competition. It won’t be easy, but we have the players necessary to go and secure this victory on our way to continental glory,” stated Salomon Kalou.

While Sabri Lamouchi will have his whole team available for selection, the Nigerian national coach Stephen Keshi will be missing midfielder Fegor Ogude, who was awarded two yellow cards in the group phase.

Nigeria finished second in Group C at the end of the group phase, qualifying for the quarterfinals of the Afcon 2013 by beating Ethiopia 2-0, after being held to a draw by Burkina Faso and Zambia.

In their five past Africa Cup clashes, the two teams have each won twice, with one draw between them, but the Elephants dominated in their two most recent matches, winning 1-0 in both the Afcon 2006 semifinal and during the group phase of the 2008 edition.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...