Ivory Coast 2 : Japan 0 – Pre-World Cup friendly

A good performance in the Elephants final friendly before the World Cup will go some way to boosting hopes for Ivory Coast’s team. The bad news though is the injury to Drogba – when he was taken off, I didn’t think it looked that serious, but news wires are now talking of a fractured elbow which would take him out of the World Cup. Watch this space.

The initial line-up was the same as last Sunday, except for Eboue starting instead of Romaric. Barry in goal, then Tiene, Zokora, Kolo, Demel; Eboue, Yaya, Chiok; Kalou, Drogba, Dindane.

That aside, the match had many positive aspects, albeit against a rather weak side. Distribution was good and a clean sheet will help ease concerns about the defense which held up well. There was still a lack of attacking menace, but the side looked like a decent set-up in conditions that were markedly better than last Sunday’s friendly.

The goals echoed the Paraguay match; a Drogba freekick was deflected in by the Japanese no. 4. Then in the second half Kolo latched on to a well placed free-kick from Chico. Seydou Doumbia looked decent after coming on for Drogba and Dindane looked to have improved on his earlier sluggish performance. Still work to be done though, and if Drogba’s really out, it’ll be a drastic blow.

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