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Ivory Coast's Assale defends Mazembe after Club World Cup poor show

We'll do all we can to come back next year and put in a better performance, says Mazembe striker Assale after Clubs World Cup elimination

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 17 Dec 2015
Roger Assale
TP Mazembe’s Roger Assale, left, of Ivory Coast and Yaw Frimpong, right, of Ghana during the press conference at the FIFA Club World Cup soccer tournament in Osaka, western Japan, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. TP Mazembe and Sanfrecce Hiroshima will play in their quarter final match at the tournament on Sunday. (AP)

After losing their two games in the Clubs World Cup in Japan, TP Mazembe and Ivory Coast striker Roger Assale has defended his team’s poor performance during the games.

TP Mazembe's dreams of reaching another Club World Cup final were quickly extinguished when the African champions lost two games respectively, 3-0 to Japan's Sanfrecce Hiroshima and 2-1 to Mexican Club America.

The five-time African champions Mazembe made history during their last appearance in the tournament five years ago when they eliminated Brazilian side Internacional to reach the final where they lost to Inter Milan.

"It was very cold to begin with and that was hard," Assale was quoted as saying on FIFA's official website late on Wednesday.  

"That’s no excuse, though. There are days when you try everything and nothing works."

"We had hoped to fly the flag for Africa but we came up against teams who gave more than we did," he added.

"On a personal level, I would have liked to have contributed more."

The 22-year-old attacker Assale continental titles last season, CAF Champions League with Mazembe and Africa Cup of Nations with his national team Ivory Coast.

"It’s not easy for a player to win two such big trophies in the same year," Assale said.

"I’ve been consistent and achieved success with my club and my national team, which shows that it’s been a good year for me."

Assale promised to come back and take part in the Clubs World Cup next year as they already learnt from their mistakes in the current edition.

"The most important thing is that we learn from this disappointment for the future."

"We have to take something from this competition other than defeat. We’ve learned a lot from some great teams and what we need to do now is push ourselves forward, prepare for the new season and make sure it’s another successful one.

"We'll do all we can to come back next year and put in a better performance. We are the champions of Africa and we'll be trying to make sure we stay that way,” the Mazembe scorer concluded.

The CAF Champions League winners TP Mazembe will host Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel the champions of the CAF Confederation Cup on the weekend of 19 to 21 February 2016.

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