Ivory Coast boss Sabri Lamouchi has stepped down from his post after his side’s premature exit from the World Cup, according to BBC Sport.
His side came within minutes of reaching the knock-out stages, but conceded a late penalty to Greece, which was dispatched by Celtic striker Georgios Samaras. The result sees them narrowly miss out on qualification, with the Greeks joining group leader Colombia in the next round.
Out in the group stages
Ivory Coast started the tournament in positive fashion, coming from behind to beat Japan 2-1 in their first game. But after a narrow loss to Colombia, their World Cup survival was in the balance. The Frenchman has since lamented the tortuous manner of his side’s defeat: "I'm deeply disappointed for the players,"
"The Ivory Coast is a great football nation and this was a cruel game, a cruel game," Lamouchi was quoted as having said by the BBC.
"After so much hard work and so much sacrifice, all of us and everyone in the Ivory Coast is very sad."
Lamouchi’s contract was set to come to an end at the culmination of the World Cup, with the possibility of an extension if Ivory Coast performed well.
"My contract comes to an end at this World Cup and there will be no epilogue and you can understand well as to why," he continued.
"It is logical as we did not do well at last year's Africa Cup of Nations or at the World Cup finals."
The last chance
This was the last chance for Ivory Coast’s ‘Golden Generation’, with the likes of Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure and Didier Zokora – at least while they're at the peak of their powers.
Ivory Coast have always been seen as Africa’s perennial underachievers, with Los Elefantes failing to succeed in tournament football, despite the strength of their squad.
They are yet to make it out of the group stages of the World Cup in three attempts. Lamouchi was fortunate to keep his job after Cote d’Ivoire’s quarter-final exit from the Africa Cup of nations last year to eventual winners Nigeria. They finished runners-up in 2012 and 2006.
"I have put a lot of time and effort into the past two years, but unfortunately my story with Cote d'Ivoire ends this evening," Lamouchi added.
"I am very disappointed and sad, and also for the players and the Ivorian people. However, my career carries on and there will be other defeats, though I would have liked this adventure to finish in a different fashion."
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