Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots acknowledged that his team’s result against Morocco on Saturday was a nightmare for the entire population.
The Elephants were stunned at home 2-0 by the Atlas Lions who have qualified for the 2018 Fifa World Cup holding in Russia.
Two first half goals from Diarar Nabil and Elmouttaqui Medhi shattered the dreams of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations winners, who were eyeing a fourth World Cup qualification.
“It was a terrible result, one that has caused devastation among supporters and the population. But that is football. We did our best. Our plans did not work out because Morocco were difficult to handle,” Wilmot said.
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Ivory Coast goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo came under fire after the game for his ‘lack of vigilance’, which led to the two quick goals, according to the local press.
Wilmots admitted the poor form of the TP Mazembe goalie and promised to ring changes at the post in future encounters.
“I agree that Gbohouo’s performance was not great. But we shouldn’t forget that he hasn’t been playing competitive football for long. I think I will be thinking of testing a new keeper in future,” he said.
Talking about the future, the Belgian coach refuted immediate plans to resign and announced preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.
“My future is in the hands of my employers. I will discuss with them and see what happens, but what I’m sure of now is looking into the future. We have been able to groom new players that can take over from the ageing veterans and prepare for the upcoming 2019 Afcon qualification.
“In life you have to accept your situation to come back stronger. Our situation is that we did not qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup but that doesn’t not mean we are out and done. We will come back.”
Ivory Coast lost their first 2019 Afcon qualifying game at home to Guinea and are currently sitting third in Group H behind Guinea and Central African Republic. They will face Rwanda next in March 2018.