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World Cup: Sabri Lamouchi says Ivory Coast are 'far from qualified'

Sabri Lamouchi
Image: Sabri Lamouchi: Ivory Coast coach warns that there is still plenty of work to be done

Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi has warned his players and the nation's fans not to get carried away after their World Cup Group C victory over Japan.

Japan's star player Keisuke Honda had put them ahead with an impressive strike in the 16th minute, but the Elephants took all three points from their opening clash with headers from Wilfried Bony and Gervinho, just 98 seconds apart.

In his post-match press conference, Lamouchi was quick to play down the success.

“The players are very happy with the victory, but we are far from being qualified," he said.

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“We did not start very well in the game, conceding the first goal from a careless mistake.”

Didier Drogba was brought off the bench after 60 minutes to assist his ailing team-mates, but was not involved in either goal.

Nevertheless, Lamouchi was happy to be able to call upon the former Chelsea striker.

"Having a player like Didier Drogba in the team, or among the substitutes, changes a game," he said.

Japan boss Alberto Zaccheroni admits his team did not do enough to see off their opponents, and believes improvements will be needed if they are to progress.

“We have to do better in order to reach the knockout round, because today we did not do enough," he said.

"We did not put them under enough pressure. We were not aggressive enough.

“We could not play as we normally do, especially in the second half after conceding the two goals.”

The Group C fixtures continue on Thursday, when Ivory Coast face Colombia and Japan take on Greece.

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