Kalou hails 'dream' goal

Ivory Coast star delighted with match-winning influence

Kalou: Match-winner

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Ivory Coast forward Salomon Kalou has described his match-winning goal against a Nigeria as a 'dream come true'.

The Chelsea star pounced after 66 minutes to score the only goal of the game on Monday to leave Ivory Coast favourites to top Group B in the Africa Cup of Nations.

And Kalou has admitted his delight at marking his debut in the competition with a goal as Ivory Coast began their campaign with three points.

"My feeling is fantastic," Kalou told skysports.com. "Scoring on my debut in the Africa Cup of Nations is a dream come true.

Personal glory

"My parents are here, my friends are here in my homeland and everybody is happy for me. The goal was fantastic but the win was the sweetest.

"It is not about personal glory. It is about Ivory Coast winning against difficult opponents in an opening game of a big tournament."

Kalou has also defended his crunching tackle on his Stamford Bridge team-mate and Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel.

The Ivory Coast man has received criticism for leaving his mark on Mikel during the encounter, but he insists the tackle was not intentional.

"Mikel was running the midfield," Kalou added. "So I let him know that we are enemies for 90 minutes. However, he knows it was just an accident."