- Ivory Coast were eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations in the round of 16 by Egypt via penalties
- Eric Bailly missed the decisive spot-kick in the shootout after a 0-0 draw in regulation and extra time
- Drogba congratulated the national team for the effort in the AFCON, and urged them to come together
Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has reacted for the first time to Ivory Coast’s untimely exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.
The elephants, considered heavy favourites in the competition, were rather unlucky to have landed Egypt, another heavyweight, in the last 16.
Patrice Beaumelle’s team were the better side from the overall balance of play but were unable to get past The Pharaohs both in regulation time and extra time.
Once it boiled down to penalties, it was a tale of two Premier League stars as Man United’s Eric Bailly saw his kick saved, while Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah scored the decisive penalty to send his nation through.
In a Facebook post shared on Friday, January 28, Drogba expressed pride in his side’s performances in the competition, while also hinting at why he thought his side were not successful.
“I’m proud of my team and my young brothers who proved that the potential is right there,” Drogba wrote
“Now we have to look to the future. how to Qualify for the World cup again. How can we win, when Ivorian football has been suffering divisions for more than three years?”
“Solidarity for a common goal is the first requirement towards success.”
Drogba for Ivory Coast
At international level, Drogba played for Ivory Coast from 2002 to 2014, in a period where he became the team’s all-time goal scorer with 65 goals.
He was part of the Ivory Coast team that reached the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2012, but never won the trophy himself.
By the time Ivory Coast was winning it in 2015, Drogba had retired from the national team.
Eric Bailly speaks after penalty miss
Meanwhile, Eric Bailly was a discontent figure hours after missing the penalty against Egypt on Wednesday.
The Man United defender was in the best form of his life as he shut out Egypt through their last 16 fixture played at Japoma Stadium in Douala.
He took to social media to apologise for his costly miss, describing Ivory Coast's elimination as "painful."
Source: Sports Brief News