• News

Ivory Coast boss reveals what he told Eric Bailly after penalty miss

Eric Bailly
Source: Instagram/Eric Bailly

The Manchester United defender missed a costly spot-kick to end Ivory Coast’s hopes of a third AFCON title.

Ivory Coast manager Patrice Beaumelle has opened up on how he consoled ‘big champion’ Eric Bailly after the defender’s penalty miss in the defeat to Egypt at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The 27-year-old missed the only penalty of the shootout on Wednesday after the match finished all square at 0-0 to end Ivory Coast’s pursuit of a third AFCON title in Cameroon this year.

He took the team’s third spot-kick, taking only one step before striking the ball to the left while appearing to look away. Egypt goalkeeper Mohammed El Shenawy tipped the ball onto the crossbar to deny him. It was his one and only save, yet it was enough to decide the last-16 tie.

‘He was crying and it was very hard’

As the North Africans celebrated their shootout win, Bailly took his miss very hard and prompted Beaumelle to console him.

“He was crying and it was very hard,” the Elephants boss told BBC. “I hugged him and I just said ‘You are a big champion’.

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

Bailly sends a message to Ivory Coast fans

Taking to Instagram on Thursday evening, Bailly posted a message that read: “Painful elimination from the African Cup of Nations. Words fail me to describe my disappointment. Proud and grateful to have been able to compete in this competition surrounded by such a great team. Thank you to the supporters for accompanying us. We will get up.”

Bailly and Ivory Coast return to action on March 29 for an international friendly against England at Wembley.