Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi has warned his team not to relent, following Saturday’s 2-1 comeback win over Asian champions Japan.
Two quick-fire headers by Wilfried Bony and Gervinho immediately after the hour mark sealed an opening group game win for the African giants, in the wake of a Keisuke Honda opener on 16 minutes.
“The players are very happy with the victory, but we are far from being qualified,” ex-France player, Lamouchi was quoted as saying on Fifa.com at his post-match press conference.
“We only won one match. We have another tough game ahead (on Thursday) against the leaders of the group (Colombia). We will have to prepare.”
The introduction of ex-Chelsea man Didier Drogba, 36, brought a touch of urgency into the Elephants’ game, after an hour of speculative plays- though the striker was not directly involved in the country’s two goals.
“We did not start very well in the game, conceding the first goal from a careless mistake,” Lamouchi added. “Then we created many good chances. Having a player like Didier Drogba in the team, or among the substitutes, changes a game.”
Toulouse full-back Serge Aurier, 21, injected an element of youthfulness into the squad with his energetic and kinetic excitement. He provided Bony and Gervinho superb crosses for their goals.
“Today a young one had his say,” Didier Drogba said. “Serge brought us energy and balance and he had a fantastic game.”
Aurier said: “I can’t believe it. It’s my first World Cup, we’re here in Brazil and I helped the team to win. It’s like a dream.”