Fiji Time: 8:58 PM on Tuesday 17 January

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Football: Ivory Coast comeback to beat Japan

AP
Sunday, June 15, 2014

Update: 4:31PM Two quickfire headed goals from Wilfried Bony and Gervinho helped Ivory Coast recover to beat Japan 2-1 on Sunday as the team's bid for a first appearance in the World Cup knockout stages got off to a fine start.

The African side trailed to a stunning Keisuke Honda strike in the first half, but the introduction of striker Didier Drogba off the bench proved the catalyst to turn the match on its head after the restart as they scored twice in three minutes.

With coaches so often judged on their ability to make brave decisions, Ivory Coast's Sabri Lamouchi put his neck on the line by leaving out Drogba, for so long a talismanic presence in the lineup, in favour of the in-form Bony.

It looked a poor call as Japan had the better of the first half.

The Japanese were sharp and nimble in possession, working clever angles as they picked off their opponents' frequently misplaced passes and took the lead with a goal of genuine quality from Honda after 16 minutes.

Collecting a pass across the box, he took one touch to shift it out of his feet and then drove it powerfully into the top corner with his left foot, before galloping away in celebration as blue hordes of Japanese fans celebrated deliriously.

The Elephants had their moments, with midfielder Yaya Toure showing occasional glimpses of his destructive powers, shifting through the gears with trademark bursts of raw energy.

Yet there was little killer instinct as half-chances came and went, with Drogba prowling on the sidelines before entering the fray after 62 minutes.

The change had the desired impact on the Ivory Coast who levelled two minutes later when Bony leapt to glance a fizzing Serge Aurier cross into the far corner.

Two minutes later and another drilled Aurier centre was met this time by Gervinho who got in front of his marker to direct a header on goal that squirmed past Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, who should have done better.








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.63860.6196
JPY 55.897952.8979
GBP 0.40050.3925
EUR 0.45630.4443
NZD 0.68890.6559
AUD 0.65100.6260
USD 0.48630.4693

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 17th January, 2017

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Breaking barriers
  2. Convicted Thai surrenders travel documents
  3. Reddy: No new reforms
  4. Brief showers forecast
  5. Kiribati grateful to Cakaudrove
  6. Kings join the race
  7. Jannat beats cancer
  8. Wheels on roads
  9. Bua accident claims second victim
  10. Regional security on forum agenda

Top Stories this Week

  1. Tragic end to village trip Wednesday (11 Jan)
  2. Brothers appear for alleged assault, granted bail Saturday (14 Jan)
  3. Barber opens new $75k investment Friday (13 Jan)
  4. Ryan wasn't a choice Wednesday (11 Jan)
  5. Police investigate officer's testimony Friday (13 Jan)
  6. Kinoya sinkhole discovery, traffic restricted Thursday (12 Jan)
  7. Tractor to help farmers overcome labour shortage Friday (13 Jan)
  8. Institution faces probe Friday (13 Jan)
  9. QVS opening delayed Sunday (15 Jan)
  10. Snap search uncovers contraband in remand centre Sunday (15 Jan)