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DRC's coach Ibenge airs his views pre-IVC game

'We won't be intimidated by IVC...' - DRC coach Ibenge ahead of Ivory Coast game

February 3, 2015 By Mutembei Kevin
As Ivory Coast and DR Congo prepared to go head to head in the 2015 AFCON semis on Feb 4th 2015, DRC coach Florent Ibenge adamant that his men were up for the task despite the almost palpable gulf in class between the teams.

After his team had upset Ivory Coast 4-3 during the Africa Cup of Nations 2015 qualifiers in Abidjan, coupled with the miracles the Leopards had pulled to get to the semi finals, DR Congo’s head coach Florent Ibenge was understandably confident ahead of their semis game against Ivory Coast and did not shy away from expressing this in his pre-match comments.

“We won’t have any complex against Ivory Coast and their big names - Gervinho, Yaya Toure,” Ibenge declared.

“We respect them. They have great careers overseas but on the day it will be 11 Congolese against 11 Ivorians.”

When asked if the reason for his confidence was their earlier 4-3 win over the Ivorians, Ibenge stated:

“This will be a different match as no two matches are ever the same. This is a new game and a new opponent.”

“It was great to win in Abidjan, it was good for the fans and history. But Ivory Coast have changed a lot since then especially in the centre of defence where Kolo Toure has returned, and they are no longer conceding many goals.”

“It will be tough for us because they are a better team than they were during the qualifiers.

“But we will play and we want to win. Not many expected us to reach this stage and they are already happy for us.”

“We hurt their pride when we beat them at home, the big Ivory Coast. They had not lost at home during the generation of Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure.

"They will now want to avenge that loss.”

“But we are also armed with the motivation to reach the final. That is our target.”

With Cote d’Ivoire out for revenge and DR Congo looking to repeat the 4-3 coup they had done pulled off during the qualifiers, the clash between the two AFCON 2015 hopefuls was set to be a dazzling one for all fans of African football.

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