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Rogers blasts FIFA for World Cups

Major League Soccer
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Elephants without Ya Konan (knee)

A second half surge courtesy of two quick strikes by Wilfried Bony and Gervinho put the Ivory Coast ahead 2-1 over Japan to begin their World Cup campaign.

Ivory Coast will be without striker Didier Ya Konan when the Elephants face Colombia in Brasilia on Thursday.

The Hanover forward, who helped inspire the comeback against Japan last week after coming off the bench, suffered a knee injury that will keep him out.

However Stuttgart defender Arthur Boka is available after returning to training despite limping off with a calf problem against Japan.

Both Ivory Coast and Colombia won their opening matches and a win for either should guarantee qualification for the round of 16.

Ya Konan's absence means there is more chance that Didier Drogba will start but Colombia coach Jose Pekerman has warned it would be a mistake for his players to focus solely on the threat posed by Galatasaray's former Chelsea striker.

"We are not playing just against him. Many of their players are at top European clubs,'' Pekerman told a news conference on Wednesday.

Fredy Guarin, the Inter Milan midfielder, said Colombia are expecting a physical challenge.

He said: "They're a very physically strong team who fight for every ball and will rely on their physicality to try to beat us, but with our football, our passing and control of the ball we can have success.

``We have to be very intelligent, always keep the game under control, don't give the ball away, but above all have confidence in what we're doing.''

ends

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