Ivory Coast coach Emerse Fae slams Harambee Stars' 'negative' tactics after stalemate

Ivory Coast coach Emerse Fae slams Harambee Stars' 'negative' tactics after stalemate

Mark Kinyanjui 07:17 - 12.06.2024

Ivory Coast coach Emerse Fae has hit back at suggestions by Kenya coach Engin Firat that his side deserved to lose the clash between both sides.

Ivory Coast head coach Emerse Fae has fired back at Kenya's Engin Firat following the 0-0 2026 Group F CAF World Cup qualifying draw between the two teams at Bingu National Stadium on Tuesday. 

Firat had suggested that his Harambee Stars deserved to win the match, asserting that his side created the better chances and appeared more likely to secure victory.

The Turk had remarked, "Ivory Coast had only the ball and one goal chance, the rest were on our side. Sometimes it's luck, sometimes, quality is missing. We should have won against Burundi and a win against Ivory Coast would have put us in a good position."

However, Fae dismissed these claims, criticizing Firat's defensive strategy and defending the outcome as fair.

 "I don’t think that they deserved to win because they sat back and decided to wait for us to make mistakes for them to maximize. They created only one big opportunity and a fantastic situation but missed the others. I think the draw was more of a fair result," Fae responded.

Fae expressed disappointment in the performance of Kenya captain Michael Olunga, noting that while Olunga is a talented striker, he was off the pace in this match, partly due to insufficient support from his teammates. 

"They had the capabilities to put us under a lot of pressure but decided to sit back and wait. I am very disappointed about the striker. He is capable of much better and he did not do well compared to the last game," Fae commented.

Additionally, Fae criticized the condition of the pitch at Bingu National Stadium, suggesting that the poor surface hampered his team's ability to play their preferred style of football.

 "I think if the surface was better, it would have been better for us to play. The field did not favor us, so it was easier for Kenya to defend, which is the reason we played the way we did," he explained.

Despite the draw, Ivory Coast remains at the top of Group F with 10 points, while Kenya is third with five points. The Harambee Stars will need to secure maximum points in their remaining matches to keep their hopes of qualifying for their first world showpiece in 2026 alive.

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