Cote D’Ivoire coach Sabri Lamouchi has backed his choice of players in Sunday’s 2-1 Africa Cup of Nations quarter final defeat to Nigeria in Rustenburg.
Cheik Tiote’s second half goal was not enough as the Nigerians scored in both halves through Emmanuel Emenike and Sunday Mba.
The Elephants, who were favourites to win the competition with their so-called “Golden Generation” failed against a less heralded Super Eagles even as they paraded Didier Drogba, reigning African player of the year Yaya Toure and Arsenal’s Gervinho.
“I’m proud of my players’ work. I put forward the team I judged to be the best to pose problems to a good Nigeria side,” Lamouchi said.
“Of course our aim was to win the title and for certain players, this could be their last chance so, yes, there is disappointment in the dressing room.
“It’s a great sadness for me as the players were working with one objective – to win the Nations Cup – but it proved not to be enough,” he concluded.
It is not yet known whether the 41 year-old will keep his job as the Elephants now shift focus to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.