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Lamouchi proud of Ivory Coast

26 January 2013 22:24

Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi was delighted to watch his side become the first team through to the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.

Goals from Gervinho, Yaya Toure and Didier Ya Konan fired the Ivory Coast to a 3-0 win over Tunisia on Saturday, and moved them three points clear on top of Group D with one match to play.

Lamouchi, who is of Tunisian descent, said he was proud of his men.

"I am proud of my players and their performance," Lamouchi said.

"What you have seen today is exactly what you can see during a training session."

Lamouchi defended his decision to leave Didier Drogba out of his starting line-up, and said the result vindicated his decision.

"I have 23 players in my squad. I always said that if the Ivory Coast wanted to win the AFCON, it will be as collective," he said.

"Your first question is why Didier Drogba was not in the line up. The 11 players on the pitch today was, in my point of view, the best in order to face a great team like Tunisia from the first minute."

Ivory Coast captain Didier Zokora said a good start had been crucial.

"Against Togo we did not start very well, although we still took maximum points," he said.

"The heat is the same for both teams, and with the motivation and ambition of the team to win, we managed to move forward.

"It was hard at the beginning of this game, but after Gervinho's goal things changed and we started believing that we could get a victory."

Tunisia coach Sami Trabelsi, meanwhile, lamented some defensive errors from his side, but feels the final score was harsh on his men.

Tunisia now need to beat Togo in their final group game on Wednesday to progress to the next phase.

"Throughout the game until the 85th minute we tried our best and were a lot more threatening at that stage. However we pushed too hard and conceded two late goals, but we never gave up," Trabelsi said.

"The result tonight is not important, yes I agree that the score against us is quite big but in the second half we dominated the game and we created a few chances to score.

"Ivory Coast didn't create much in this period but they took their two chances at the end because of our mistakes.

"Although the scoreline might not reflect what I am saying tonight, when you make mistakes at this level you get punished heavily for them.

"They took their chances well and we did not but we still have one more game left in the group and we are going to work hard and improve for that last game with Togo to try and qualify."

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