World Cup Day 3: Drogba lifts the Ivory Coast

City's Yaya Toure captained the Ivory Coast to a 2-1 victory in their Group C opener. - Jamie Squire

The Ivory Coast begin their 2014 World Cup with a hard fought (and perhaps, undeserved) three points.

Two goals in as many minutes saw the Ivory Coast flip a 1-0 score line into a 2-1 victory.

Led by City’s mercurial midfielder, the Ivory Coast struggled through the first 62 minutes of their World Cup opener against Japan. Ivory Coast manager, Sabri Lamouchi, dropped the face of the nation to the bench in favor of Swansea City striker, Wilfried Bony, and the result through the first hour was hardly complimentary.

With Yaya Toure struggling to impose himself on the proceedings, the Ivory Coast followed suit, playing with little discipline and without a clear system. Japan meanwhile, began with an attacking intent that seemed to reinforce their "dark horse" status. Keisuke Honda opened the scoring with a thunderous strike (after sidestepping our own Yaya) following a set piece routine from the training ground.

Drogba’s introduction in the 62nd minute changed the game however, as the crowd and the team could be seen visibly lifted by the arrival of the great striker. Twice in as many minutes, right-back Serge Aurier swung in delightful crosses from the right flank, the first headed in by Wilfried Bony and the second by Gervinho.

The score line, while perhaps harsh on Japan, sees Group C with two front runners now, as Colombia and the Ivory Coast sit three points above Japan and Greece.

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