Michel Dussuyer @ Getty Images
Ivory Coast coach Michel Dussuyer has taken responsibility for his side’s early exit from Afcon 2017 in Gabon.
The reigning champions were sent packing from the continental tournament after they lost 1-0 to Herve Renard’s Morocco on a night that will go a long way in making a statement about the two tacticians.
“It is a big disappointment this evening and I can imagine the Ivorians are disappointed. I will take responsibility because I am the one who plans everything,” he said after the game on Tuesday in Oyem, northern Gabon.
Ivory Coast came into the tournament as one of the favourites to win the biennial event but failed to impose their superiority in Group C.
An opening goalless draw with hapless Togo put the Elephants in a difficult position before they were held to a 2-2 draw by an in-form DR Congo side led by the tenacity of head coach Florent Ibenge.
Coming into the tie on Tuesday, Dussuyer had to win at all costs to be in charge of his side’s progress into the last eight but complacency handed their fate into the hands of his predecessor.
A 64th-minute goal by substitute Rachid Aloui finished the job for Renard as he looks to make history by winning a third title in five years.
Dussuyer on the other hand was left nursing disappointment.
“I am disappointed. My objective has not been achieved. My first objective was to make it past the group stages and the second one was to defend the title but it has not been done. I am disappointed today. Tomorrow is another day.”
This is the first time that Ivory Coast has been eliminated at the first hurdle at Afcon since the 2002 edition in Mali when they failed to proceed in a group that had DR Congo, Togo and Cameroon.