CAN 2024: for the Ivory Coast coach, his team “must go to the end”

Ivory Coast coach Emerse Fae showed a big smile after his team qualified for the quarter-finals of the CAN after eliminating the defending champion, Senegal. The new coach wants to go to the end, but avoids proclaiming it loud and clear

Emerse Fae led Ivory Coast to victory against Senegal in the round of 16 of the CAN. AFP - KENZO TRIBOUILLARD

By: Ndiasse Sambe Follow


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From our special correspondent in Yamoussoukro,

Emerse Fae, do we still feel moved by this victory which can still be described as miraculous?

Miraculous? No, not miraculous. I think that apart from the first ten minutes where the Senegalese were better than us, for the rest of the match, it was a victory that was well deserved. So miraculous, not at all. It was our qualification in the round of 16 that was miraculous, not today's victory.

How to explain this reaction from your team led from the 4th minute. Could she have sunk?

Yeah, that's clear. She could have sunk. When you come from far away and you concede an early goal, you can sink. But I asked for a state of mind, I asked for warriors. They answered me, they gave me the answer I expected, they proved to me that they were men.

Read alsoCAN 2024: new miracle for Ivory Coast which eliminates Senegal and takes the quarters

You made a strong choice by doing without your vice-captain Frank Kessié, left on the bench at kick-off…

When you are in a situation where you are preparing for a match against Senegal in the round of 16, a knockout match, you have to make choices for the group, you must not make choices for the players. When I put Franck Kessié on the bench, it's not personal. This is because I believe that, for the balance of the team, it is better to start with Mika (Seri), Ibra (Sangaré) and Seko (Fofana). Afterwards, it's not a sanction, it's not a punishment. I am lucky to have a squad with quality backgrounds. So if we can use everyone, that's even better.

Ivory Coast has come a long way. How far can she go?

We have to go far, we have to go to the end. We have to take the matches one after the other. We have to remain humble because we come from very, very far away. We must remain humble, we must continue to fight as we fought today and with the quality of the players we have. If we stay in this state of mind, if we continue to fight, we can go far.

When we eliminate the reigning champion, we can only aim for the title?

No, these are journalists' analyses. It's good for morale, but it doesn't mean anything. So, we will continue to fight, we will continue to respect the teams we will play against. We don't forget that a week ago, we lost 4 0, we were almost eliminated, so we will stay calmly in our corner. We are not going to talk and we are going to continue working.

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Read alsoCalendar, results and rankings of CAN 2024 matches


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