World Cup 2014 Group C: Ivory Coast 2-1 Japan | inside World Soccer

Wilfried Bony and Gervinho both scored in the space of two minutes to defeat Japan 2-1 in an action-packed match at the Arena Pernambuco on Saturday night.


Japan got off to a stunning start as Keisuke Honda put them ahead after 16 minutes with a fierce left-foot strike under the bar past a rooted Boubacar Barry.

Ivory Coast left captain Didier Drogba out of the starting line-up but when he came off the bench after an hour, the African nation appeared to be transformed.

First Bony got between Maya Yoshida and Masato Morishige to nod Serge Aurier's fine cross past Eiji Kawashima in the 64th minute.

Two minutes later, another fine cross from Aurier set up Gervinho for Ivory Coast's winning goal, although the former Arsenal forward benefited from poor goalkeeping from Kawashima.

"We didn't start the game very well by conceding through a lapse in concentration," said Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi told media.

"After that, we got into a lot of good positions. For us it was really important to start well this tournament."

Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni said: "The players gave 100 per cent but we weren't cohesive enough.

"After we took the lead, we did go on the back foot, but that was because of our opponents' attacking qualities - not through our own choosing where they really pushed us back. That especially happened on the wings."

Lineups:

Ivory Coast: Boubacar Barry; Serge Aurier, Didier Zokora, Souleymane Bamba, Arthur Boka (Constant Djakpa 75); Cheick Tioté, Yaya Touré; Serey Die (Didier Drogba 61); Salomon Kalou, Wilfried Bony (Didier Ya Konan 78), Gervinho

Japan: Eiji Kawashima; Atsuto Uchida, Maya Yoshida, Masato Morishige, Yuto Nagatomo; Makoto Hasebe (Yasuhito Endō 51), Hotaru Yamaguchi; Shinji Okazaki, Keisuke Honda, Shinji Kagawa (Yoichiro Kakitani 86); Yuya Osako (Yoshito Ōkubo 70)


bet365

Don't forget to join us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates!