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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 21, 2006

Michel delighted as his tenure ends on a high

Ivory Coast coach Henri Michel savoured the country's first ever World Cup win - a 3-2 comeback with against Serbia and Montenegro in a Group C match between two sides already eliminated - but lamented the frailties that cost his side a place in the last 16.

Michel confirmed after the match he will leave the post to take a coaching job with an unnamed club in Qatar.

The Ivory Coast conceded two early goals to Nikola Zigic and Sasa Ilic but rallied to win with two goals including a penalty from Aruna Dindane who then declined to convert another spot-kick which Bonaventure Kalou tucked away for the winner.

However, defeats against Argentina and Holland had already ended their World Cup hopes.

'Let's say I was satisfied because we won our first match and that required a lot of effort but we still ran up against the same problems,' said Michel.

'Again we conceded two goals in 20 minutes which made things very complicated for us. It's a weakness in the team and we always have to create a lot of chances to score one or two goals.

'At this level that's not good enough and if the Ivory Coast wants to be competitive at this level we must sort out this sort of problem.

'Ivory Coast has potential, that's nothing new. We have always had attacking strength but some players were not at the right level.

'We need to find the right players to find the right system.'

Serbia and Montenegro coach Ilija Petkovic was less categorical about his future although he has indicated previously he will quit the post.

Despite three Group C defeats, he said: 'I am proud of my team for qualifying for the World Cup and for playing here and also for scoring two goals tonight against the Ivory Coast.

'I am proud of everyone who has worked for me and the Federation bosses and the conditions are there for Serbia to progress. Time will prove me right.

'The Ivory Coast played better than us and we have to acknowledge that.'

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