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Underwhelming Ivory Coast exit despite beating North Korea

| 25.06.2010

Ivory Coast’s disappointing World Cup came to a fittingly drab end, as they were eliminated despite winning their final match 3-0 against North Korea.

Ivory Coast began brightly and they were 2-0 up after 20 minutes, but North Korea were determined not to be embarrassed as they were against Portugal, and they reverted to stoic defending.

Yaya Toure gave Ivory Coast early hope when he opened the scoring with a cool, slotted finish from the edge of the North Korean penalty area.

Romaric then doubled the lead when he headed in a rebound after Didier Drogba’s shot almost broke the crossbar with a thumping strike.

At half-time, however, Ivory Coast were frustrated to only lead 2-0.

Substitute Salomon Kalou scored Ivory Coast’s third goal, and although North Korea mustered a couple of efforts on goal, the second half was forgettable.

Having arrived in South Africa with lofty expectations from fans and commentators alike, Ivory Coast have underachieved as they did at the 2006 World Cup where they were also knocked out at the group stage.

It is now left to Ghana to fly the flag for Africa at this World Cup, and the Black Stars are 40/1 to become the first ever African world champions.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.