Ivorian Olympians' sights on South Africa
© Foto-net

Côte d'Ivoire might not have achieved their dream of a medal but their first-ever experience of competing in the Men's Olympic Football Tournament has obviously stood them in good stead.

Six players from the U-23 squad that reached the quarter-final of the men's tournament in China have, after all, been named by senior coach Valid Halilhodzic in the squad for the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Mozambique on 7 September.

The half-dozen are led by Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou, likely to take the lead in attack with captain Didier Drogba and fellow forward Aruna Dindane still sidelined with injury. Also fresh from the Olympic adventure, and now on their way to Maputo, are goalkeeper Vincent Angban, Benjamin Angoua Brou, Kafoumba Coulibaly, Kouamtien Kone and the Dutch-based striker Sekou Cisse, who scored in June during the last series of FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Halilhodzic, who has only been in the job since May, has already considerably expanded the pool of Ivorian internationals, having been forced in June to put together a makeshift squad after several key stars were forced out by injury. It has meant the emergence from the shadows of players such as Kone and Cisse, both of whom have been handed a strong show of confidence by the coach.

Halilhodzic has also named uncapped Jean Jacques Gosso Gosso for the first time. The midfielder was recently signed by French club Monaco, having previously played in Israel and Morocco.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Vincent de Paul Angban (ASEC Abidjan), Boubacar Barry (Lokeren, Belgium), Aristide Benoît Zogbo (FC Shorta),

Defenders: Arthur Boka (VfB Stuttgart, Germany), Benjamin Angoua Brou (Kispest Honved, Hungary), Guy Demel (Hamburg SV, Germany), Emmanuel Eboué (Arsenal, England), Abdoulaye Meïté (West Bromwich Albion, England), Kolo Toure (Arsenal, England)

Midfielders: Kanga Akale (Racing Lens, France), Kafoumba Coulibaly, Emerse Fae (both Nice, France), Jean-Jacques Gosso Gosso (Monaco, France), Kouamatien Kone (CFR Cluj, Romania), Siaka Tiene (Valenciennes, France), Gneri Yaya Toure (Barcelona, Spain), Gilles Yapi Yapo (Young Boys Berne, Switzerland), Didier Zokora (Tottenham Hotspur, England), 


Strikers: Sekou Cisse (Roda JC Kerkrade, Netherlands), Salomon Kalou (Chelsea, England), Bakary Kone (Olympique Marseille, France), Boubacar Sanogo (Werder Bremen, Germany)