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Kalou relishing Dutch challenge

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Aug 2008

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Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou said Friday a good performance in his side's final game in a pre-Olympic tournament in Hong Kong was vital going into next week's Beijing Games.

The 22-year-old Chelsea player, who spent three seasons playing in the Dutch top flight with Feyenoord, will be up against some familiar faces when Ivory Coast play The Netherlands at Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday evening.

And he admits the Dutch are the team everyone likes to watch.

“Holland are a really nice team to watch and they have many great players. These are the guys you pay to go and watch. It will be great just to be on the same pitch as them,” said Kalou.

“However, although they have many good players, we need to show we can compete with them and learn, so we can go to the Olympics with confidence,” added Kalou, who has already played over 100 games for Chelsea.

In the other game in the ING Cup Saturday, the USA, who disappointed in a 0-0 draw with Ivory Coast earlier in the week, play Cameroon.

The African side were beaten in the tournament Wednesday by The Netherlands, and defender Andre Bikey knows another defeat will not be good preparation for the Olympics.

“The game against the USA is very important for us, as we need a win to boost our confidence,” said Bikey, who was impressive at the heart of Cameroon's defence against the Dutch.

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