Ivory Coast U-23 coach expects tough clash with Egypt

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 30 Nov 2011

Ivory Coast must defeat Egypt tonight to continue the race to the U-23 African Championship

Ivory Coast

A few hours ahead of tonight’s anticipated clash against Egypt in the London Olympic Games African qualifiers, Ivory Coast U-23 coach Alain Goumaine expects the game to be a tough one.

“It will be a very tough game and a difficult one for both sides,” Goumaine told the Confederation of African football (CAF)’s official website on Wednesday. “Especially that Egypt didn’t show the expected performance in their first match.”

In the first round, Egypt snatched three precious points after the 1-0 win over Gabon, while the Elephants were held to a 1-1 draw with South Africa.

Goumaine, however, is confident his team will recover and still has a chance to reach the semi-final, but remains wary of the Egyptians.

“I’m satisfied with the draw because it was very important not to lose,” he said. “South Africa took the lead but we fought back for the draw.

“Definitely, for me, it’s always good not to lose. Besides, we consider the coming match as the final because we will know our fate then. It’s either a victory or we’re out... We came here just to win.

“Egypt has many young talents that are capable of making the difference because of their harmony and solidarity,” the coach added.

Knowing the importance of today’s match to their tournament prospects, Ivory Coast plans to be in better shape.

“We are ready for it. The problem in the first game was the absence of our European based players. But I’ve talked with the players and told them to forget about the past game and that we should not commit the same mistakes again.

“I can see all the players are physically and mentally ready because we need nothing but a win,” concluded Goumaine.

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