Namibia 1-4 Ivory Coast: 3 Reasons why the The Elephants dominated the match | African Cup of Nations 2019
Ivory Coast bounced back from their crushing defeat against Morocco in thumping fashion as they ran riot against Namibia in their last group stage fixture and secured a 4-1 victory to seal their place in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Wilfred Zaha started, while the injured Serge Aurier was out of the fixture and Nicolas Pepe was on the bench for The Elephants.
The two-time champions put on dismal performances in their first two fixtures of the tournament, managing an unconvincing win in their opener, while they were shocked by a much superior Morocco last week.
But in this fixture, Ibrahim Kamara's men looked more determined than ever with their qualification on the line. The Elephants worked on their strengths, that lies in their speedy wingers and attackers who've been exposed to European football, to get the results and get in gear for the knockout rounds in time.
As Ivory Coast finished second behind Morocco in their group, we round up the three reasons which led the team to this much needed victory in the Group D's final match.
#3 A strong starting XI fielded by Ivory Coast
Kamara was criticized by fans and pundits alike for his team selections in the first two games of the tournament. Leaving out their star player Wilfred Zaha on the bench in both the games clearly denied an attacking edge to them.
But Kamara learned from his mistakes and used his trump card in the starting XI against Namibia.
Zaha made a positive impact in his first start of the tournament and managed to get on the scoresheet in the second half.
Veteran Max Gradel also justified his inclusion in the squad ahead of youngsters like Cornet and Pepe, when he opened the scoring for the Ivorians in the first half.
Despite an injury to their captain Aurier, they were strong defensively as well and his replacement, Mamadou Bagayoko, turned out to be the right choice from the coach to start in this game.