Sabri Lamouchi hails 'game-changer' Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast stands on the sidelines with head coach Sabri Lamouchi during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match between the Ivory Coast and Japan at Arena Pernambuco on June 14, 2014
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Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi praises the 'game-changing' qualities of Didier Drogba, who helped his nation to a 2-1 win over Japan.

Ivory Coast boss Sabri Lamouchi has hailed the impact of second-half substitute Didier Drogba following the 2-1 win over Japan in their World Cup opener.

The Elephants got their Group C campaign off to a winning start as two quickfire headers from Wilfried Bony and Gervinho helped the African nation come from behind to claim the victory.

Both goals came minutes after Drogba was introduced by Lamouchi, and the French coach has praised the game-changing qualities of his striker.

"We didn't start the game very well by conceding through a lapse in concentration. After that, we got into a lot of good positions," he told reporters at full time.

"For us it was really important to start well this tournament. To have a player like Didier Drogba in your squad, as a starter or a sub, changes a game.

"The players are very happy with the victory, but we are not yet qualified."

Ivory Coast sit second in Group C behind Colombia, who enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win over Greece on Saturday.

Gervinho of the Ivory Coast celebrates scoring his team's second goal with teammate Didier Drogba during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match between the Ivory Coast and Japan at Arena Pernambuco on June 14, 2014
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