Ibrahim Kamara

Ivory Coast head coach Ibrahim Kamara has highlighted their defensive problem ahead of their first game at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals.

The Elephants are set to open their Group D campaign against South Africa at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Monday.

The two-time Afcon champions have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last three matches which were international friendly matches.

“We came to Egypt with a team under construction, a young team. We will try to get as far as possible in the competition,” Kamara was quoted as saying by TV5 Monde.

“I like teams that defend very well. Teams that concede few goals. It boils down to concentration,” the former Ivory Coast U17 head coach added.

“We will keep working and I hope we will sort our defensive issues as soon as possible,” the experienced tactician concluded.

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast captain Serge Aurier is hoping to lead the Elephants to the 2019 Afcon title.

The defender, who is on the books of English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, explained that he is determined to create history.

“We are conscious of the fact that it is a big competition. We are ready to defend our country’s flag like it should be,” Aurier was quoted as saying by TV5 Monde.

“It’s a different team with a different generation. You need to adapt to many things,” the former Paris Saint-Germain player continued.

The experienced full-back was part of the Elephants team which lifted the 2015 Afcon title in Equatorial Guinea.

“For some players, this is their very first Afcon. But our ambition remains the same: have a good campaign, and why not, win the title as in 2015,” the 26-year-old player concluded.

The Elephants will also take on Morocco and Namibia in their other Group D matches as they look to reach the knockout stages.

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