Colombia v Ivory Coast preview: Victory for Didier Drogba's side will allow people to start 'dreaming', says coach

Sabri Lamouchi knows three points today will take Ivory Coast into the last 16 for the first time

Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi is hoping that his team will make history – and put their fans in dreamland – on Thursday when they take on Colombia in their second Group C fixture.

LIVE: Follow the latest news as England play Uruguay, plus Colombia v Ivory Coast and Japan v Greece

If the Elephants beat Colombia, they will gain a three-point lead at the top of the group and, with it, take a big step towards reaching the World Cup’s last 16 for the first time. Indeed they could end the day qualified for the next phase with three points in Brasilia and a favourable result in the group’s other game between Japan and Greece.

“I am not a dreamer but that won’t stop me being ambitious,” said Lamouchi. “If we beat Colombia, I won’t be able to stop other people from dreaming.”

Ivory Coast started their third successive World Cup campaign with a 2-1 win over Japan on Saturday but Lamouchi expects a “completely different” challenge against the Colombians, who opened with an impressive 3-0 success over Greece.

"There will be two entirely opposed styles,” Lamouchi added. “We know it will be a difficult match, where there won’t be too much space and where you’ll have to win your midfield battles to impose your style of play.

“We will have to fight a bit more and be technically stronger,” he added. “We need to make fewer mistakes and be more focused that we were against Japan.”

 

Ivory Coast will be missing forward Didier Ya Konan owing to a knee injury, meaning there is a greater likelihood of Didier Drogba starting the match after he came off the bench against Japan. Meanwhile, Yaya Toure will play despite admitting earlier this week that he had been suffering the effects of an adductor strain.

To counter the power of Toure, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman may reinforce his midfield with either Alexander Mejí or Fredy Guarin, and the question is whether their quick, skilful football can prevail over the Elephants’ power. “We’ve got a highly difficult match in front of us against an experienced rival,” said Pekerman, who as Argentina coach oversaw a 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast at the 2006 World Cup.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'