Ivory Coast manager Ibrahim Kamara praised his side’s industry in the aftermath of their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarter-final elimination at the hands of Algeria.
The Elephants were defeated 4-3 on penalties after it ended 1-1 following 120 minutes of action in Suez.
Sofiane Feghouli put the North Africans ahead in the 20th minute, but a Jonathan Kodjia strike just after the hour mark levelled the game.
With neither side able to find the winner after extra-time, a penalty shootout endued, with Wilfried Bony and Serey Die’s misses costing the West African nation.
Speaking to the media after the game, Kamara was satisfied with their progress during the finals and chose to remain optimistic in spite of the loss.
“The boys came to Afcon to learn and we pushed for that. We’ll continue to work on these things,” Kamara said at the post-match press conference.
“Algeria wasn’t the best match for us, but we’ll improve on what we learned here.”
Furthermore, while Kamara believes the team-building process will take time, the coach has seen signs of improvement in his players.
“In any case, it’s a process that will take time. We’ll take the lessons from what we learned here.
“Little by little we’re correcting things. We’re becoming more competitive. We lost on penalties, we have to work on this.
“We have time to better this team, apart from that you have to win matches – be it in penalties or whatever.”
The Elephants head coach then explained the decision to play Ibrahim Sangare against the Desert Foxes, revealing the qualities the Toulouse man possesses made him a certain inclusion from the start.
“We rotated the midfield to stop the Algerian threat, so we introduced Sangare,” Kamara stated.
“We knew the midfield [battle] would be difficult as they’re aggressive. We wanted this combat, we wanted the athletic quality that he brings so that’s why we introduced him today.
“At the end, Algeria were victors, even if it was on penalties, they’re still winners.”
Ivory Coast’s last success came in the 2015 edition of Afcon.