World Cup - Group C
Ivory Coast2Japan1

Ivory Coast 2-1 Japan

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Highlights: Ivory Coast 2-1 Japan

Ivory Coast scored two goals in as many minutes to come from behind and get their World Cup campaign off to a winning start with victory over Japan.

The Elephants trailed to a stunning Keisuke Honda strike in the first half.

But the introduction of Didier Drogba as a substitute inspired the comeback, with Wilfried Bony equalising after meeting Serge Aurier's cross.

Aurier also provided the cross for former Arsenal forward Gervinho to head home the winner.

The victory at Recife's Arena Pernambuco moved Ivory Coast level on three points at the top of Group C with Colombia, who beat Greece 3-0.

Ivory Coast, appearing in their third World Cup, have never gone past the group stage but will fancy their chances after a spirited performance.

However, it all looked to be going wrong for manager Sabri Lamouchi, who surprisingly left out former Chelsea striker Drogba and saw his side fall behind.

Asian champions Japan - the first team to qualify for the World Cup - were sharp and nimble in possession and took the lead with a goal of real quality from Honda on 16 minutes.

The AC Milan midfielder collected a pass across the box, took one touch and then drove home powerfully into the top corner with his left foot.

Gervinho failed to score during Ivory Coast's World Cup qualifying campaign

Ivory Coast had their moments, with midfielder Yaya Toure showing occasional glimpses of his destructive power, while Bony was guilty of wasting several chances.

But shortly after Drogba's introduction, the Swansea strike equalised, leaping to glance a fizzing Aurier cross into the far corner.

Two minutes later, another drilled Aurier centre was met by Gervinho and his header squirmed past Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

Drogba twice went close to finding the net in the closing stages as Lamouchi's side finished strongly to leave Japan with an uphill battle to stay in the tournament.

Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi:

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

"We did not start very well in the game, conceding the first goal from a careless mistake, then we created many good chances.

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

Japan boss Alberto Zaccheroni:

"We have to give credit to the Ivory Coast - they had a great game.

"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.

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

Line-ups

Ivory Coast

  • 1Barry
  • 17Aurier
  • 3BokaSubstituted forDjakpaat 75'minutes
  • 20Gonzaroua DieSubstituted forDrogbaat 62'minutes
  • 5ZokoraBooked at 58mins
  • 22BambaBooked at 54mins
  • 8Kalou
  • 9Tioté
  • 12BonySubstituted forYa Konanat 78'minutes
  • 19Y Touré
  • 10Gervinho

Substitutes

  • 2Diarrassouba
  • 4K Touré
  • 6Bolly
  • 7Akpa-Akpro
  • 11Drogba
  • 13Ya Konan
  • 14Diomande
  • 15Gradel
  • 16Gbohouo
  • 18Djakpa
  • 21Sio
  • 23Mandé

Japan

  • 1Kawashima
  • 2Uchida
  • 5Nagatomo
  • 17HasebeSubstituted forEndoat 54'minutes
  • 6MorishigeBooked at 64mins
  • 22YoshidaBooked at 23mins
  • 9Okazaki
  • 16Yamaguchi
  • 18OsakoSubstituted forOkuboat 67'minutes
  • 4Honda
  • 10KagawaSubstituted forKakitaniat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Sakai
  • 7Endo
  • 8Kiyotake
  • 11Kakitani
  • 12Nishikawa
  • 13Okubo
  • 14Aoyama
  • 15Konno
  • 19Inoha
  • 20Saito
  • 21Sakai
  • 23Gonda
Referee:
Enrique Osses
Attendance:
40,267

Match Stats

Home TeamIvory CoastAway TeamJapan
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home21
Away7
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home8
Away5
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Côte d'Ivoire 2, Japan 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Côte d'Ivoire 2, Japan 1.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Didier Ya Konan (Côte d'Ivoire) because of an injury.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Didier Ya Konan (Côte d'Ivoire) because of an injury.
Hand ball by Didier Drogba (Côte d'Ivoire).
Corner, Côte d'Ivoire. Conceded by Masato Morishige.
Corner, Côte d'Ivoire. Conceded by Masato Morishige.
Corner, Côte d'Ivoire. Conceded by Eiji Kawashima.
Didier Ya Konan (Côte d'Ivoire) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Yasuhito Endo (Japan).
Corner, Japan. Conceded by Serge Aurier.

Substitution

Substitution, Japan. Yoichiro Kakitani replaces Shinji Kagawa.
Offside, Côte d'Ivoire. Didier Zokora tries a through ball, but Gervinho is caught offside.
Corner, Côte d'Ivoire. Conceded by Masato Morishige.
Attempt blocked. Didier Drogba (Côte d'Ivoire) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Salomon Kalou.
Gervinho (Côte d'Ivoire) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Yuto Nagatomo (Japan).
Foul by Didier Drogba (Côte d'Ivoire).
Masato Morishige (Japan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Côte d'Ivoire. Conceded by Eiji Kawashima.
Attempt saved. Didier Drogba (Côte d'Ivoire) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Didier Drogba (Côte d'Ivoire) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Masato Morishige (Japan).
Attempt blocked. Yuto Nagatomo (Japan) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Keisuke Honda.

Substitution

Substitution, Côte d'Ivoire. Didier Ya Konan replaces Wilfried Bony.
Attempt missed. Yaya Touré (Côte d'Ivoire) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Côte d'Ivoire. Constant Djakpa replaces Arthur Boka because of an injury.
Offside, Japan. Maya Yoshida tries a through ball, but Atsuto Uchida is caught offside.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Arthur Boka (Côte d'Ivoire) because of an injury.
Foul by Salomon Kalou (Côte d'Ivoire).
Atsuto Uchida (Japan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Keisuke Honda (Japan) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Atsuto Uchida with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Japan. Yoshito Okubo replaces Yuya Osako.

Goal!

Goal! Côte d'Ivoire 2, Japan 1. Gervinho (Côte d'Ivoire) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Serge Aurier with a cross.
Cheick Tioté (Côte d'Ivoire) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Shinji Okazaki (Japan).

Goal!

Goal! Côte d'Ivoire 1, Japan 1. Wilfried Bony (Côte d'Ivoire) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Serge Aurier with a cross.

Booking

Masato Morishige (Japan) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Didier Drogba (Côte d'Ivoire) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Masato Morishige (Japan).

Substitution

Substitution, Côte d'Ivoire. Didier Drogba replaces Serey Die.
Yaya Touré (Côte d'Ivoire) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Hotaru Yamaguchi (Japan).
Attempt missed. Salomon Kalou (Côte d'Ivoire) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Arthur Boka.
Serge Aurier (Côte d'Ivoire) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Shinji Kagawa (Japan).
Attempt missed. Gervinho (Côte d'Ivoire) with an attempt from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Serge Aurier with a cross.

Booking

Didier Zokora (Côte d'Ivoire) is shown the yellow card.
Yaya Touré (Côte d'Ivoire) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Yasuhito Endo (Japan).
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Arthur Boka (Côte d'Ivoire) because of an injury.

Booking

Souleymane Bamba (Côte d'Ivoire) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Souleymane Bamba (Côte d'Ivoire).
Shinji Okazaki (Japan) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Cheick Tioté (Côte d'Ivoire).
Keisuke Honda (Japan) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Japan. Yasuhito Endo replaces Makoto Hasebe.
goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Brazil110023
2Mexico110013
3Cameroon1001-10
4Croatia1001-20

B

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Netherlands110043
2Chile110023
3Australia1001-20
4Spain1001-40

C

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Colombia110033
2Ivory Coast110013
3Japan1001-10
4Greece1001-30

D

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Costa Rica110023
2Italy110013
3England1001-10
4Uruguay1001-20

E

TeamPWDLGDPts
1France110033
2Switzerland110013
3Ecuador1001-10
4Honduras1001-30

F

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Argentina000000
2Bos-Herze000000
3Iran000000
4Nigeria000000

G

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Germany000000
2Portugal000000
3Ghana000000
4USA000000

H

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Belgium000000
2Algeria000000
3Russia000000
4South Korea000000
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