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Lamouchi proud of Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi was delighted to watch his side become the first team through to the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.

Goals from Gervinho, Yaya Toure and Didier Ya Konan fired the Ivory Coast to a 3-0 win over Tunisia on Saturday, and moved them three points clear on top of Group D with one match to play.

Lamouchi, who is of Tunisian descent, said he was proud of his men.

“I am proud of my players and their performance,” Lamouchi said.

“What you have seen today is exactly what you can see during a training session.”

Lamouchi defended his decision to leave Didier Drogba out of his starting line-up, and said the result vindicated his decision.

“I have 23 players in my squad. I always said that if the Ivory Coast wanted to win the AFCON, it will be as collective,” he said.

“Your first question is why Didier Drogba was not in the line up. The 11 players on the pitch today was, in my point of view, the best in order to face a great team like Tunisia from the first minute.”

Ivory Coast captain Didier Zokora said a good start had been crucial.

“Against Togo we did not start very well, although we still took maximum points,” he said.

“The heat is the same for both teams, and with the motivation and ambition of the team to win, we managed to move forward.

“It was hard at the beginning of this game, but after Gervinho’s goal things changed and we started believing that we could get a victory.”

Sat 26 January, 2013
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