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Ivory Coast boss stresses ‘destiny is in our hands’ as AFCON hosts chase last 16

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Jan 2024

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Ivory Coast coach Jean-Louis Gasset is confident having “destiny in our hands” will help his side secure qualification for the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Defeat to Nigeria last time out has left the hosts third in Group A and while that could be good enough to secure their progress as the four third-best finishes also get through, Gasset wants to make sure against Equatorial Guinea.

The 2015 AFCON champions play the Group A leaders in Abidjan on Monday.

“Like all matches, we will attack to win. Today we are third but we have our destiny in hand. We know that if we win we will qualify,” Gasset told a press conference.

“We have to have confidence, we are playing in front of our public, you have to believe in it.”

Ivory Coast’s chances against Equatorial Guinea have been boosted by the return from injury of Borussia Dortmund striker Sebastien Haller and Brighton winger Simon Adingra.

“We have confidence in the group and little by little we are recovering major players like Haller and Adingra,” added Gasset.

“We knew we were going to do without Haller and Adingra at the start. The return of Haller will do the group good.

“But if everyone is talking about Haller, I would like to add Simon Adingra. Both will be in the group (for training).”

Equatorial Guinea need just a point to confirm their place in the last 16 after drawing against Nigeria and beating Guinea-Bissau.

“We have no pressure, the players know what they have to do. They have to run a lot,” said coach Juan Micha.

“We are not yet qualified. We know that we have played two matches, we have four points but it is not over.”

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