Quarter-finals: France – Colombia – Belgium – Costa Rica
World Cup progress: Group stage
Team rating: 6
Top scorer: Bony, Gervinho (2)
This was meant to be the year Cote d’Ivoire’s ‘Golden Generation’ finally managed to make it out of the group stages, but Rossella Marrai instead reflects on the Greek tragedy suffered.
Golden generation fails to shine
With memories of their two previous failures back in 2006 and 2010 a constant weight on their shoulders,
Ivory Coast arrived in Brazil hoping it would be third time lucky. Paired in a group where Colombia were considered to be their only superiors in a four-team poll comprising of Greece and Japan too, the Elephants should have stampeded their way through to the knockout rounds.
A sound offensive display yielded some intricate goals, but a lagging backline saw their position in the tournament compromised. And even with unquestionable spirit in the team, Georgios Samaras’ last minute penalty left them hard done by while on the brink of history.
The Coach – Sabri Lamouchi
Sabri Lamouchi has been at the helm of the Elephants for two years but failed again to see his team deliver. Selecting a group with an exciting mix of promising talent and unquestionable experience, Lamouchi could only get the best out of his side on an offensive note. He resigned after their group stage elimination.
Player of the Tournament – Gervinho
While he may have scored the same number of goals as Wilfried Bony, Gervinho was the man who sparkled for the Elephants. Echoing form that saw his career rekindled at Roma, the 28-year-old was an impressive inspiration. His individual goal against Colombia will go down as one of his best.
Memorable moment – Toure brothers fight on
Serey Die’s tears during the national anthem stilled hearts, but the Toure brothers’ decision to stay in the camp following the death of their younger brother showed a remarkable sense of commitment.
|14-Jun-14||Cote D'Ivoire||2-1||Japan||Group C|
|19-Jun-14||Colombia||2-1||Cote D'Ivoire||Group C|
|23-Jun-14||Greece||2-1||Cote D'Ivoire||Group C|
|7||D||Jean Daniel Akpa||–||–||–|
|13||M||Didier Ya Konan||1||–||–|
For a complete review of the 2014 World Cup, check out the next issue of Soccer Italia, written by the team at Football Italia and available on worldwide subscription.