Our prediction for this Africa Cup of Nations 2019 match:
Ivory Coast will be aiming to make amends for a 1-0 loss to Morocco when they take on Namibia at 30 June Air Defence Stadium. The Elephants did well to beat South Africa in their opener, meaning that a victory over the Brave Warriors should see them advance to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations last 16. Wilfried Zaha has yet to open his goal-scoring account at the tournament in Egypt, but, no doubt, the Premier League ace is capable of making life difficult for the opposition defenders.
The Namibians failed to impress in back-to-back losses to the likes of South Africa and Morocco and seeing that they have little to play for in their last group game, we are tempted to put our money on the Elephants. In their only previous meeting at the AFCON finals Ivory Coast recorded a thrilling 4-3 victory over Namibia.
Highlighted Player (Nicolas Pépé):
Born in France to parents of Ivorian descent, Nicolas Pepe became a full Ivory Coast international in 2016. In a symbolic twist of events, Pepe was handed his Ivory Coast debut in a goalless draw against his birth nation France days after receiving his first-ever call-up.
Pepe began his career in the lower leagues in Poitiers in 2012, before moving to Angers a year later. Having proven his qualities in the second-string side, Pepe was instated in Angers’ first team in 2013. Four years later – which included a season-long loan spell at Orleans – Nicolas Pepe was transferred to Lille. Les Dogues beat several sides to the signature of this pacey winger who is no stranger to scoring goals. Quick with his feet, Pepe can be deployed on the right wing and as a centre-forward.
The Ivory Coast international is unpredictable in his movement and not easy to keep an eye on, especially because of his powerful left foot.
Highlighted Team (Ivory Coast):
Over the years Ivory Coast have established themselves as one of the best African teams. The Elephants won their second Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 2015, with the team beating Ghana in the final of the tournament. Ivory Coast defeated the Black Stars on penalties and it has to be noted that goalkeeper Boubacar Barry scored the winner.
A number of high-profile footballers played (or play) for the Ivory Coast national team, but, no doubt, the most notable players are Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Salomon Kalou and Gervinho. Ivory Coast are well known for their orange kit, but they play their away games in green shirts and green shorts. Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny is regarded as the team’s home stadium.
Didier Zokora is the player with the most caps for the Ivory Coast national team (123), while aforementioned attacker Didier Drogba is the team’s top scorer (65 goals). Drogba is the symbol of the Ivory Coast football and the former Chelsea man played for the national team from 2002 to 2014.