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Jun 24, 2014

Lamouchi sad as Ivory Coast era ends

2014 FIFA World Cup Group A: Greece 2-1 Ivory Coast

Sabri Lamouchi said his tenure as Ivory Coast manager is over after his team failed to advance to the group stage of the World Cup on Tuesday.

Lamouchi's men were about just minutes from advancing with a 1-1 draw against Greece, but Georgios Samaras earned and converted a late penalty to give Greece the victory and oust Les Elephants from the World Cup.

And Lamouchi, whose contract expires this summer, says he will not pursue an extension with the national team.

"My story with Ivory Coast will stop today, unfortunately, because it's been a hard two years," Lamouchi said. "It was a pleasure for me to represent this football country.

"We could have had a feat had the match stopped one minute earlier. Everything has to do with details.

"There is a lot of disappointment and frustration as the entire group has made huge sacrifices. I'm sad for them and the Ivorian people. I have a future and a career ahead of me, but I would've like this match to end in a win.

"My contract ended with this World Cup. There will be no follow up. These three years have not been easy for us. It's a cruel scenario."

Wilfried Bony's 74th minute goal temporarily brought the Ivory Coast level with Greece in Tuesday's Group C finale.
Wilfried Bony gave the Ivory Coast the lead but they could not hold prevent Greece from winning.

The Ivory Coast started the tournament sharply with a 2-1 win over Japan, but a defeate to group winners Colombia followed before Greece sealed their fate.

Lamouchi backed his players for performing well in Brazil.

"The players have no reason to resign," he said. "I'm not resigning either; it's the end of my contract. But it is logical that if you've not been able to get the African Cup or the World Cup, even if it's been a hard two years, you need another way of proceeding and I wish the best to the Elephants and the Ivory Coast. We have a talented generation."

"We didn't have the opportunities to benefit from mistakes from opponents."

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