The Elephants may very well trample over the low-ranked Samurai Blue, but you can be sure the Japanese aren’t going down without a fight. Group C’s other matchup (Colombia beat Greece earlier) opens action at 9 p.m. USEDT (1 a.m. GMT) Look to Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda to lead the way for Japan, while Didier Drogba leads a stellar cast for Ivory Coast.
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(this post courtesy VOA’s French-to-Africa Service. check out their unique insight and analysis into World Cup play at http://football.lavoixdelamerique.com)
The best African team
Côte d’Ivoire is undoubtedly one of the best teams in sight for this World Cup. It is true that over the past decade the so-called “golden generation” have won nothing. But the team is still very impressive and can inflict damage. Players like midfielder Yaya Toure have been crowned champions of England with Manchester City.
A great experience
Players of the “golden generation” have great experience. In the last 10 years, Didier Drogba, the Toure brothers, Salomon Kalou, Gervinho, Didier Zokora, to name but a few, have shone on the European stage. Côte d’Ivoire, even with the fairly advanced age of some of its players, needs to pass the first round and, why not go further.
The pressure of the last appointment
Many of these players might return more to the finals of the World Cup. Repeated failures of this team, far from being a handicap, will certainly be a motivating factor that will push this generation of players to give everything for the finals.