Johannesburg - Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba praised the Nigerian team after
they lost 2-1 to them in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final
According to the football411.com website, the Elephants were heavily favoured to win this year's tournament
after losing to Zambia in the final last year, and with Drogba and
company nearing the end of their international careers, it seemed
A fortuitous strike by Sunday Mba ended that Ivorian fantasy in
the 77th minute. Emmanuel Emenike scored first for the Super Eagles with
a rocket-like shot in the 42nd minute and Cheik Tiote replied for the
Elephants, and that was it for the orange-clad warriors.
Both teams put up an excellent show at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium
with Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure battling intensely with
Chelsea anchorman John Obi Mikel, but the credit went to Mba who plies
his trade in the Nigerian league.
"I was very impressed with the Super Eagles' performance against
us (Ivory Coast). It's proof of hard work, relentlessness and the sign
of a world-class team in preparation," Drogba said.
"I don't really see any team that can withstand Nigeria for the
rest of the tournament. They keep improving by each game and level of
"That shows it's a hardworking and resilient outfit. If they must
take the trophy home they have to keep working, be creative and
challenge any side like they engaged us.
"Wishing for and seeing victory is not enough. I feel this is
Nigeria time but they must deserve it by proving it more on the pitch.
The fact that the team arrived with a number of home-based players means
we have to give them praise because that tells us there is football
even within the continent," he said.
"Fans ought to know that football is sometimes funny and bizarre.
Sometimes you play well and you lose and others time you don't put up a
good game but you win. We did our best, it didn't work out. We're
taking responsibility and also thanking fans and asking them to bear
with the team that better days are definitely ahead."