Tue, Jun 24, 2014 - Page 19 News List

WORLD CUP: Toures in mourning as Ivory Coast bid for epic Greece win


Al-Safa Beirut SC’s Ibrahim Toure, center, fights for the ball in a Lebanese Premier League match in Beirut on Oct. 10 last year. Toure, the younger brother of Ivory Coast pair Kolo and Yaya Toure, died of cancer on Thursday last week.

Photo: Reuters

As they try to take Ivory Coast into the FIFA World Cup knockout stages in their game against Greece today, Yaya and Kolo Toure will be dealing with the grief over the death of their brother.

The Premier League duo were dealt a terrible blow when their 28-year-old brother, Ibrahim, died of cancer in Manchester last week.

Only days afterward, Ivory Coast are to take to the field with their World Cup hopes on the line in their final Group C game against former UEFA Euro champions Greece.

Ivory Coast captain Yaya Toure will have to contend with his emotions, as well as the magnitude of the occasion as his side seek to progress from Group C at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Last week’s 2-1 loss to Colombia means Ivory Coast’s progress is far from assured and they will need a win to make sure of reaching the knockout stages for the first time.

The Elephants trailed Japan in their opener before the introduction of former Chelsea star Didier Drogba was credited with inspiring their 2-1 comeback win.

Ivory Coast can take heart from Greece’s failure to score a goal so far leaving them last in the group and needing a win, which would take the Ethniki through, provided that already qualified Colombia do not lose to third-placed Japan.

Despite going a man down, the 2004 European champions, fought off Asian title-holders Japan to rescue a 0-0 draw last week and keep their World Cup hopes alive.

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