World Cup 2010 - Ivory Coast out despite win

Fri, 25 Jun 16:54:00 2010

Ivory Coast outclassed North Korea 3-0 but came up well short in finding the goals they required to keep alive their hopes of reaching the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time.

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Sven Goran-Eriksson's side needed Portugal to lose to Brazil while chasing several goals against the North Koreans, who were thumped 7-0 by Portugal in their last Group G outing.

Yaya Toure, the effervescent Romaric and substitute Salomon Kalou were on target in Nelspruit, but could not prevent Ivory Coast - who had 26 attempts at goal - from joining North Korea in exiting the tournament at the first stage.

Group winners Brazil and Portugal played out a 0-0 draw that was enough to see them occupy the top two places in the section.

North Korea have not won any of their last nine international fixtures, losing seven and drawing two, including three defeats in South Africa.

Kalou, Aruna Dindane, Guy Demel and Siaka Tiene dropped to the bench with Ndri Romaric, Gervais Kouassi, Abdelkader Keita and Arthur Boka all starting to enhance their country's attacking options.

The African side wasted little time in setting about their task as Yaya Toure played in Kader Keita on two minutes, but his shot was blocked by the North Korean goalkeeper Ri Myong-Guk.

Drogba had the ball in the net on 10 minutes with a header from Keita's cross, but an offside flag saved the Koreans.

They were not so fortunate on 13 minutes as Ivory Coast surged ahead.

Arthur Boka found the towering Yaya Toure on the edge of the box and he passed the ball into a corner of the net.

Ivory Coast have now won all six games in which midfielder Toure has scored.

Ivory Coast were off and running. Romaric hit a post three minutes later before Eriksson's side made it two on 19 minutes.

Boka was again the supplier as he picked out Drogba. The Chelsea striker spun superbly. He cracked a volley off the underside of the bar, but Romaric followed up to head the rebound into the net.

The chances kept on coming for Ivory Coast in a fairly frenetic first-half onslaught. Gervinho should have given them a three-goal lead eight minutes before half-time, but he knocked wide with plenty of the goal to aim at.

Apart from a Hong Yong-Jo free-kick that flew wide, North Korea offered little or no resistance.

The 12 goals they have conceded at these finals all came from inside the box, which suggests their defending is brittle at best.

The second period was a bit of a damp squid as Ivory Coast failed to rediscover the fluency of their play in the opening half.

They continued on the attack, but could only breach the North Koreans once more when Kalou, on for Gervinho after 64 minutes, volleyed into the net from Boka's cross.

Substitute Aruna Dindane's goal was ruled out for offside in the closing minutes, but Ivory Coast hopes of staying in the finals had already vanished.

Match Facts

North Korea v Ivory Coast

Goals 0-3

1st Half Goals 0-2

Shots on Target 4-10

Shots off Target 4-14

Blocked Shots 1-3

Corners 0-7

Fouls 12-16

Offsides 2-4

Yellow Cards 0-0

Red Cards 0-0

Passing Success 74.8%-89%

Tackles 18-15

Tackles Success 83.3%-66.7%

Possession 34.1%-65.9%

Territorial Advantage 35.8%-64.2%

Desmond Kane / Eurosport

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