Boka praying for 'miracle'
Ivory Coast defender Arthur Boka admits his team are hoping for a 'miracle' to carry them through.
By Danny Wright
Last Updated: 22/06/10 5:31pm
Ivory Coast defender Arthur Boka admits he and his team-mates are hoping for a 'miracle' to carry them through to the knockout stages.
The Elephants' World Cup hopes hang in the balance after their defeat to Brazil on Sunday night and Portugal's seven-goal hammering of North Korea.
Sven Goran Eriksson's team must now beat the lowest ranked team in the tournament by a wide margin and hope Brazil do the same to Portugal in the corresponding match.
The situation looks unlikely given that Brazil have already qualified - hardly incentive to attack Portugal - while their opposition are far from the weakest.
And with striker Didier Drogba struggling to find full form and fitness, any Ivorian rout appears hopeful.
But Boka has not given up hope of making a remarkable passage through to the knockout phase, telling reporters: "If we win this match maybe a miracle can happen - only God knows.
"We will try to win our last match and if we exit, exit with our heads held high. We must believe we can still do it."
The Ivory Coast's hopes would have been helped by a tighter North Korean defence, but they were outclassed in a humiliating defeat in Cape Town on Monday.
Carlos Queiroz's side have yet to concede and boast a plus-seven goal difference, compared to the African outfit's minus two.
And team-mate Gervinho said the demolition job gives them little chance of qualifying, adding "Every five minutes when I saw another goal I thought - this is catastrophic and the end for us."
The Ivorians' loss to Brazil was also marred by the controversial dismissal of Kaka, who was given his marching orders for a collision with striker Kader Keita.
Keita tumbled to the floor holding his face as if he had been hit and Boka said the incident was perhaps not as harsh as Keita had made out - but insisted it did merit a card.
"I think the knock on Keita wasn't that violent but you have to also look at Kaka's intentions," he said.
"It's a big competition and you have to be a bit stricter so for me the yellow was justified."