Haidara: Last-gasp defeat hard to accept

Haidara: Last-gasp defeat hard to accept
Soualiho Haidara, coach of Ivory Coast during 2022 CAF African Nations Championship quartertfinal football match between Algeria and Ivory Coast at Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers, Algeria on 27 January 2023 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Saturday Jan 28, 2023. 11:00

Ivory Coast coach Soualiho Haidara admits the manner of their 1-0 defeat to Algeria in the 2022 African Nations Championships (CHAN) is a bitter pill to swallow.

The Elephants were eliminated from the tournament at the quarter-final stages after suffering a dramatic 1-0 defeat to the hosts at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers on Friday.

Haidara’s side were unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage following the dismissal of goalkeeper Alexis Guendouz on 20 minutes and the Fennec Foxes went on the win the match in the 96th minute courtesy of Aymen Mahious’ last-gasp penalty.

However, Haidara believes his young squad will learn from their experiences in Algeria to come back stronger in the future.

“The match was difficult for both teams and just as I said before, the match will be decided by small details,” he said in the post-match press conference.

“It is difficult for us to accept the loss but we learnt a lot and these are important lessons to build on. If we qualify for the next edition, we will do better.

“It is difficult for us to lose like this. We did not lose the match, but we learned a lot from it and we must work harder to become a stronger team.

“Our team is made up of very young players, and everything that happened is due to a lack of experience. We can only get better from here and we must start somewhere.

“We will learn from all the lessons and I hope that we will seize the created opportunities in the future.”

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