Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba has conceded that his side must play a more attacking game and put away their chances against North Korea to have any hope of qualification.
The Elephants began with a goalless draw in their World Cup 2010 campaign, before succumbing to a 3-1 loss to Brazil in their second group game.
In the meantime, Portugal put seven past the Koreans, rising to second place in the standings.
Even a victory over North Korea coupled with a loss for the Portuguese in their respective final group games may not be enough to book a place in the next round, unless there is a swing of nine goals in goal difference between the two sides.
This would mean that the Ivorians will most likely have to put several goals past their opponents on Friday to entertain any hope of qualifying for the knockout round of the competition.
"It's going to be hard for us to qualify now because our fate's no longer in our hands," Drogba acknowledged to the press.
"Our team has made progress since the last World Cup, but we could have been a bit more ambitious and tried to go for the game a bit more."
Meanwhile, fellow team-mate and Manchester City defender Kolo Toure echoed a similar view, maintaining that the African side have to be merciless in front of goal to achieve what appears to be an improbable set of consequences at the moment.
"We need to be a bit more clinical and do a better job of finishing off some of the counter-attacks than we have," Toure said.
"We can't afford to waste counter-attacks like we did against Brazil, it's unforgivable.
"We've got no margin for error in our next match, we need to be more compact and put away our chances."
Guy Demel also maintained that the Ivorians have to cling on to any hope they may have to make their way into the next phase of the tournament.
He said: "There's one match to go and we owe it to ourselves to win it and hope events go in our favour. Nothing's over yet."