FRISCO, Texas — Ivory Coast center back Kolo Toure returned to the pitch in Les Elephants' 2-1 win against El Salvador on Wednesday and said he didn't feel any ill effects from malaria, which kept him out of the team's 2-1 loss to Bosnia and Herzegovina five days ago.
"Did you see that? Did you see the game? You know, what do you think?" Toure said when asked if he felt healthy after playing the full 90 minutes. "I was fine. I was OK, you know. I had two days in the bed and I’m back on track. I had malaria, you know? But now I’m better."
The center back conceded a penalty in the 74th minute which Arturo Alvarez converted for the Salvadorans' lone goal of the match. Toure came away impressed with the Central American opposition, which hadn't played a match since the 2013 Gold Cup in part because of match manipulation scandal that saw 14 Salvadorans handed lifetime bans from the sport and more than a half-dozen others suspended for various periods of time.
"My opinion is that it was a good game. Good professional game. El Salvador is a good team, they have good young players. For us, it was really important that we got a win after the loss (to Bosnia)," he said.
The Liverpool man enjoyed watching Ivory Coast's first half attack, which saw Didier Drogba slip in Gervinho for the opening goal in the ninth minute and Gervinho return the favor and set up the Ivory Coast captain in the 42nd minute.
"They are top players, you know," Toure said. "I’m very proud of what they’re doing. They are good players, and they understand each other very well. That’s very good."
While Kolo Toure says he's recovered, his brother Yaya is yet to see the field in the pre-World Cup friendlies, with manager Sabri Lamouchi saying the midfielder won't appear until he's fully fit from a thigh injury.