Ivory Coast not giving up
Demel, Drogba and Toure looking for dramatic turnaround
Last Updated: June 24, 2010 11:58am
Demel: Staying positive
Ivory Coast's players have insisted that nothing has been decided yet as they prepare to face North Korea on Friday.
The Elephants look almost certain to miss out on a place in the last 16 of the World Cup after following up a goalless draw against Portugal with a 3-1 defeat to Brazil.
To draw level on points with Portugal they must beat North Korea in their final Group G match and hope that Carlos Queiroz's men lose to Brazil, but even that is unlikely to be good enough to seal second place.
Portugal hammered North Korea 7-0 so there would need to be a nine-goal swing in terms of goal difference, and Ivory Coast will probably require a similarly emphatic victory to stand any chance.
But defender Guy Demel has not given up hope, saying: "There's one match to go and we owe it to ourselves to win it and hope events go in our favour. Nothing's over yet."
Didier Drogba accepts that Ivory Coast may have approached their opening two games too cautiously and has urged his team-mates to take the attack to North Korea.
"It's going to be hard for us to qualify now because our fate's no longer in our hands," said the Chelsea striker.
"Our team has made progress since the last World Cup, but we could have been a bit more ambitious and tried to go for the game a bit more."
Manchester City defender Kolo Toure agrees that Ivory Coast must be more ruthless in front of goal if they are to pull off a great escape.
"We need to be a bit more clinical and do a better job of finishing off some of the counter-attacks than we have," Toure said.
"We can't afford to waste counter-attacks like we did against Brazil, it's unforgivable.
"We've got no margin for error in our next match, we need to be more compact and put away our chances."