Didier Drogba expressed his frustration and disappointment following Ivory Coast’s humiliating 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea at the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe.
The Elephants are now on the verge of a disastrous exit from the Africa Cup of Nations due to their lackluster performance, both in front of goal and defensively.
Drogba called for introspection and decisive actions to address the team’s overall poor showing in the tournament.
Speaking to Ivorian broadcaster NCI, Chelsea legend Drogba talked about Ivory Coast’s eprformances: “We will have to get back to work, not only asking the right questions but also making the right decisions. For football and only football because today a nation like Ivory Coast cannot organise such a competition and, of course, get eliminated so early on. But in this manner, there is a real problem.”
Ivory Coast’s head coach, Jean-Louis Gasset, characterized the current situation as a “nightmare” following two consecutive losses. Gasset maintains hope that his team can still progress to the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations.
“It’s a nightmare,” Gasset said. “We had prepared well for this match and we got into this match well by going after them and setting the pace. We had possession and opportunities. But since then two matches, we want to force things, but we can’t score. On the other hand, the slightest mini-chance for our opponents turned into a goal. In football, you have to be efficient. Equatorial Guinea gave us a lesson in realism.
“Do I still believe we can qualify? Obviously. We won one match out of three, we have people who are behind us. But when you wait for the results of others, that’s not a good sign.”
Fans’ frustration escalated, leading to expressions of anger directed at the Ivory Coast players, creating security concerns at the stadium. Following the match, both teams were reportedly prevented from leaving the venue. Despite the players’ considerable effort, with 22 shots attempted, only three of them found the target.
The two-time AFCON winners still have a chance to secure a spot in the knockout phase as one of the four best third-place teams, provided Cameroon fails to beat Gambia on Tuesday. Gambia has lost both their opening matches to Senegal and Guinea, while Cameroon has drawn and lost one.