Drogba to lead Ivory Coast attack - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Drogba to lead Ivory Coast attack

25/06/2010 07:23:19 AM Comments (0)

Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba will lead the attack as his team tries to overturn a goal-difference deficit of nine in its last Group G match against North Korea on Friday.

Ivory Coast must beat North Korea and hope group leader Brazil wins against Portugal in order to advance. The African must also hope its winning margin and Portugal's losing margin are enough to turn around the massive goal difference gap and edge Portugal for second spot in the group.

Drogba broke his right arm 11 days before Ivory Coast's opening World Cup match and has looked hampered by the injury in the opening two encounters.

Coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said on Thursday he will make changes, but confirmed Drogba would start.

"It's better to have Didier Drogba, even if he's not 100 percent fit," Eriksson said.

The Ivory Coast coach did not know what to expect from North Korea after its narrow 2-1 defeat to Brazil was followed by shipping six second-half goals in a 7-0 thrashing by Portugal.

"They were extremely well-organised against Brazil and for 45 minutes against Portugal, then I really don't know what happened," Eriksson said.

"I don't know if they were tired or changed the tactics to win the game, I don't know.

"I really don't know what we are going to meet, but I would guess the team we saw against Brazil - fighting and running."

Eriksson said his team would do their best to make the unlikely goal-difference turnaround.

"It's a strange situation," he said. "We played good football but we are in a situation that's extremely difficult.

"You can't really go out and tell your players 'go out and score eight or nine goals' because that's not realistic.

"We are going to try, of course. If we have to leave, we want to leave with our heads high."

Eriksson was made Ivory Coast coach three months ago and acknowledged more time with the players would have helped.

"I would have liked to have had a couple of years to know the players better," he said.

"The players are getting better and better, the team is getting better and better so it's a pity if it's our last game."

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