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Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 15:38 GMT
Toure thinks of home
Kolo Toure
Toure was happy to have given Ivorians a reason to smile

Ivory Coast star Kolo Toure dedicated his country's impressive 3-0 win over Cameroon to his countrymen.

Ivory Coast is in the grip of a civil war that has wrecked the country over the last five months.

But Toure and his team mates were determined to give Ivorians something to cheer about.

"This victory was very important for the Ivory Coast," the Arsenal player told BBC Sport.

"I love my country, but there are serious problems there at the moment.

"We really wanted to play well and make people happy."

Toure, who had a solid game at the unaccustomed position of right back, is aware that the win over Cameroon will change people's perceptions of the Ivorian team.

"Cameroon are the best in Africa, everyone knows that," he said.

"Now we have beaten them everyone will think much better of us.

"We have many good young players and play very good football," he added.

"I think in a couple of years, when we have more experience, we will be a very good team indeed."

Elephants coach Robert Nouzaret was pleased with the performance of his players.

"It was a good game for us: we created good chances, scored goals, and it was a nice victory," he said.

"Beating the African champions is very good for our confidence.

"Above all though, the game was televised in Ivory Coast, so people will have seen how hard we were trying for them. That's very important."

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