Ivory Coast’s chance of surviving their 2013 Africa cup of nations finals group stage are the key story in the Ivorian sporting press. Ivory Coast will come up against Togo, Tunisia and Algeria in January – the draw was made last night. Looking on the bright side, ‘Le Nouveau Reveil’ says that Lamouchi’s side can beat all of the teams in Group D. The article’s author says that the last edition’s runners-up can dominate their group, pointing out that Algeria and Togo failed to even quality last time around for the Gabon-Equatorial Guinea adventure. The paper says Tunisia struggled during the 2012 Afcon and are trying to recover from their failure and concludes that Ivory Coast are in pole position to qualify for the last eight.
‘Supersport’ is a more alarmed and says the Elephants’ opponents have already played in the World Cup finals and adds that they are serious contenders in the race for the Cup of Nations title. All the same, the paper says the country is counting on the Elephants’ golden generation including Drogba and current African player of the year Yaya Toure in order to make history. Though talented, the ‘generation Drogba’ has yet to win the continental trophy. As for ‘l’Expression’, Ivory Coast will not be under too much pressure in their group because Togo, Algeria and Tunisia will be less than happy to meet the Ivorian stars. After the draw for the group stages, Lamouchi told the media “The group will be an extra challenge for us. But I know my players are able to take us through the group stage. We know that our rivals are strong, yet they have the same apprehension about us. They are not happy to play us.” The paper hails Lamouchi’s state of mind and concludes that teams that target the trophy should be ready for all opponents.
The Ivorians lost the 2012 finals to Zambia in a penalty shootout but have yet to loss after twenty appearances this year. The Elephants will be based in Port Elisabeth and will start the competition with a match against Togo in mid-January.
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