Zahoui targets Ivory Coast glory

Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui says he can see the determination in his players' eyes as they look to be crowned African Nations Cup winners once again.

Football News: Ivory Coast

The Elephants take on Zambia in Sunday's final in the Gabonese capital of Libreville seeking to add to their only previous success in the tournament, which came 20 years ago.

The star-studded Ivory Coast side have won every match at this year's event to live up to their billing as pre-tournament favourites following years of disappointment and Zahoui can sense the conviction among his side heading into the final.

"I'm lucky to have these talented and experienced players having participated in the last three editions of the African Nations Cup. I can see determination in their eyes. They want to lift to the trophy," he said.

"My players are ready and highly motivated to win the title. This generation has failed several times and now they have the chance.

"We took a giant step by reaching the final and my joy will be complete when we win the title. We are just one step away from that feat."

As well as winning all their matches, Ivory Coast have yet to concede a goal in seeing off Angola, Burkina Faso and Sudan in the group stage, then downing co-hosts Equatorial Guinea in the quarter-finals before easing past Mali in the semis.

"If you want to win the title, you have to keep winning. It's not about performing exceptionally. The most important thing is winning," added Zahoui on www.cafonline.com.

"We came here for that and have the experience to achieve it. We have won all our matches and all that is left is the key game."

Zambia, who have never won the African Nations Cup, have also impressed in reaching the final unbeaten, defeating highly-fancied Senegal in their opening match before then seeing off Sudan in the last eight and upsetting Ghana in the semi-finals.

Sunday's final is set to provide an emotional stage for the Zambians as they return to the city associated with one of the country's most most tragic events.

Libreville was the city that a plane carrying the Zambian national side refuelled in before crashing into the Atlantic Ocean in 1993, killing all 30 people on board.

Looking ahead to Sunday's match, Zambia captain Christopher Katongo said: "We are all excited but focused ahead of the final. We will just wait and see on Sunday but we all know this is the biggest game of our lives.

"I don't think there will be any complacency from this side. We won't relax because we have beaten so-called big teams along the way but instead we will continue to work hard."

Katongo added on www.cafonline.com: "It's been a great run to get this far but we are not here to cheer Ivory Coast to the trophy. We firmly believe in our ability and the quality we have. After all nobody can tell which way it will go."



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