Renard says 1992 triumph gives Ivorians final edge

Herve Renard
Ivory Coast's head coach Herve Renard of France speaks during a news conference in Bata February 7, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
Saturday 7 Feb 2015
Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard says his team will enjoy "a psychological advantage" over Ghana in Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations final after beating them to win the 1992 tournament.

Ivory Coast defeated Ghana 11-10 on penalties after 120 goalless minutes in Dakar 23 years ago.

"The win in 1992 is a psychological advantage as Ivory Coast beat Ghana to win on penalties", said Renard, who was Ghana's assistant coach at the 2008 Africa Cup.

However, the Frenchman dismissed the tag of favourites attached to his team.

"Some people are also expecting the Black Stars to win. What people think is not important, we have to focus on our target. We know why we are here.

In my opinion, it's time (for Ivory Coast to win). We will see what happens on the night."

He also said he does not expect an easy final against a good Black Stars side.

"It will be a tough game -- a final between two of Africa's strongest teams. It won’t be easy like most finals", he predicted.

"I know them very well, but they also have some new players. It is better to know them very well.

"If you don't know Asamoah Gyan is a good header of the ball, then you are in trouble. So, we won't be surprised by them.

"But Ghana is not only Gyan. Their best player is Andre Ayew and so we have to be very careful about him."

The Ivory Coast coach said he expects skipper Yaya Toure to rise to the occasion Sunday.

"I am sure Yaya will play a very good final. He scored a good goal in the semi-final. Fantastic players like him know this is an important game for them.

"For them there is no pressure", he said of the Manchester City star.

Newcastle United midfielder Cheik Tiote is the only player ruled out for Ivory Coast, added Renard. He is still nursing an ankle sprain suffered at the tournament.


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