Snagged by Morocco last week, Ivory Coast suffered another outing without a victory, while the Elephants faced South Africa (1-1) on Tuesday evening in a friendly.
New poor performance for Côte d’Ivoire, in full preparation for the final phase of CAN 2023 on its land. Snagged by Morocco last week, the Elephants suffered another victoryless outing on Tuesday. Receiving Bafana Bafana in Abidjan, Jean-Louis Gasset’s men finished the match with a score of parity (1-1).
Clearly dominant in this match played at the Stade Félix Houphouet-Boigny, the locals however conceded the opening score. Themba Zwane was able to seize his chance and give his team the advantage at the start of the match (9th).
Despite this score disadvantage, Ivory Coast did not give up and showed relentless determination. It was finally thanks to Sébastien Haller, in the 66th minute, that the Elephants managed to equalize. A moment of joy for the supporters, but which unfortunately was not enough to reverse the tide of the match.
This new poor performance raises certain concerns just a few weeks before CAN 2023, which Ivory Coast will host. Supporters hoped that these friendly matches would be an opportunity for the national team to prepare for this major event in African football. Far from being reassuring, this series of mixed results raises questions about the ability of the Ivorian team, seeking its third African title, to compete with the best on the continent.
However, it is worth remembering that friendlies are not always an accurate representation of a team’s true level of play. There is still time for Ivory Coast players to prepare and refine their strategy before the start of the competition. Let’s hope that these meetings will have allowed them to learn valuable lessons and put in place the necessary adjustments to shine during CAN 2023. The road is still long, and we must not lose hope.