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Ivory Coast: Beaumelle ‘proud’ of his players despite Egypt defeat

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The Elephants crashed out of the AFCON after losing on penalties against Egypt.

Following a tense 120 minutes, Egypt and Ivory Coast locked horns in the penalty shoot-outs to decide the winner. Manchester United defender Eric Baily missed the Elephants’ third spot-kick, which eventually cost them the qualification to the quarter-finals.

Ivory Coast’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign ended after an inspiring group-stage performance. Patrice Beaumelle’s side started the tournament by beating Equatorial Guinea 1-0. They then drew 2-2 against Sierra Leone before curing past Algeria 3-1. 

In an interview after the defeat against Egypt, Beaumelle spoke about his side’s form.

“It was a tough match for both teams, it’s a matter of luck,” Beaumelle said (via KingFut).

“The players did their best to put pressure on the Egyptians, so I’m proud of the boys. I congratulate Egypt, who will continue its journey in the tournament.

“The frustration is there, but I am not disappointed. The match was played on simple details, and it was very tactical and balanced. I am optimistic about the team’s future.”

Asked about Eric Baily’s situation after missing the penalty, he told BBC: “He was crying and it was very hard,

 “I hugged him and I just said ‘You are a big champion’.”

He added: “What he has done during the competition, he has shown that he is a big champion,” the Frenchman added.

“All the big champions miss penalties, I have so many examples.

“I think the goalkeeper did well. He saved two or three chances in extra-time and saved the penalty from Eric.

“You know, when you lose on penalties you have nothing else to say. I am very sad for the boys because my feeling was we could go very far in this competition.”

Ivory Coast have failed to qualify for the third round of the World Cup qualifiers. However, the Elephants are looking forward to hosting the Nations Cup in 2023. Beaumelle’s side will face England in a friendly game on March 29.