Greece in the last chance saloon against Ivory Coast

Even a draw could be enough to send Ivory Coast into the knockout stages

 

Greece and Ivory Coast are both appearing at their third World Cup and neither has ever reached the second round, but that could change today when they meet for the first time in their final Group C clash.

The Ivorians have the better chance of going through, having taken three points from Japan in their opening match. Victory over the Greeks will put them into the last 16 and even a draw might be enough.

Greece have no such luxury. Having taken just a point from their first two matches they have to win, and even then they might lose out to the Japanese on goal difference.

Their usually solid defence let them down in a 3-0 defeat by Colombia in their opener, and they were slightly lucky to scrape a goalless draw against Japan. Their captain and influential midfielder Kostas Katsouranis was sent off in that match and will miss the clash at Fortaleza’s Castelao arena.

To decide

Coach Fernando Santos has to decide whether to replace him with Giorgos Karagounis, the only other surviving member of Greece’s triumphant Euro 2004 squad, or opt for a younger alternative like Andreas Samaris.

The Ivorians kicked off their campaign in Brazil with a 2-1 victory over Japan. Striker Didier Ya Konan played in that match but missed the Elephants’ subsequent 2-1 loss to Colombia with a knee injury. Coach Sabri Lamouchi is hoping he will be fit again in time to face the Greeks.

Lamouchi has to decide whether to give in to popular demand and field ageing but inspirational striker Didier Drogba from the outset.

The powerful frontman played a pivotal role in his side’s gusty fightback from a goal down against the Japanese but was less effective against the Colombians.

This will be the first match for Ivory Coast’s Toure brothers, Yaya and Kolo, since they heard of the death last week of their younger sibling Ibrahim, aged just 28.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.