Ivory Coast v Angola preview
Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui is in a ruthless mood ahead of Monday's AFCON clash with Group B rivals Angola in Malabo.
Last Updated: 30/01/12 10:36am
Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui is in a ruthless mood ahead of Monday's AFCON clash with Group B rivals Angola in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
The Ivorians, who are already through to the last eight of the event, boast one of the most exciting line-ups in world football with the likes of Didier Drogba, Gervinho and African Footballer of the Year, Yaya Toure, at Zahoui's disposal.
Zahoui, however, has little concern for delivering a spectacle, insisting cup glory is all that matters.
"My mission is to bring the trophy back to Abidjan," he said. "I do not care if winning means scoring from a corner in the final minute."
Defender Emmanuel Eboue hopes the team can match their potential, admitting they have yet to hit top gear following 1-0 and 2-0 wins over Sudan and Burkina Faso respectively.
"We are working very hard because this year we want to do our best to bring the cup back to our country," Eboue told SI. "We just want to win. We don't play very good (so far) but we always believe in ourselves."
Angola, recently held 2-2 by Sudan, were accused of "anti-football" by Burkina Faso for time-wasting tactics after the Black Antelopes won their group opener 2-1.
Coach Jose Vidigal defended his team's approach.
"The type of football we played against Burkina Faso was for a purpose. My players carried out instructions perfectly," he said.
In Ivorian team news, Salomon Kalou is expected to shake off a hamstring complaint. The Chelsea striker scored the opener against the Stallions before limping off just past the hour mark.
Angola, who need a point to ensure their progression, have not reported any fresh concerns. They will hope Manucho continues his rich form up front, with the ex-Manchester United striker bagging three goals to date.