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The recent upsurge in their fortunes follows a lull in Cote d'Ivoire football following on from their 1992 Africa Cup of Nations success, when they beat Ghana 11-10 in a marathon penalty shoout-out in the final after the scores had been locked at 0-0.
They finished runners-up at the 2006 tournament, losing to Egypt in the final, also in a penalty shoot-out, but otherwise have flattered to deceive in the continent's top competition, especially given the natural talent that abounds in the country.
Much of the current generation of players have come through the famed ASEC Abidjan academy, a seemingly endless conveyor-belt of stars, but despite this array of junior talent, they have not done well on the global stage in junior football, especially compared to the likes of Ghana and Nigeria.
They have one third-place finish at the 1987 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Canada to show for their efforts, and failed to even qualify for the recent FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt.
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