World Cup 2014

World Cup: Ivory Coast hail FC Dallas' hospitality: "We couldn't have a better place to prepare"

FRISCO, Texas – After the Ivory Coast defeated El Salvador 2-1 at Toyota Stadium Wednesday night, the victorious Elephants were thankful for the chance to prepare for the World Cup in Frisco, which included ten days of training and finished with a challenging match in front of 18,578 passionate fans.

“It was great,” said defender Kolo Toure. “Honestly it was like a proper World Cup game because the fans were there and super-enthusiastic, rooting and enjoying the game.”

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The crowd was in full voice on a number of occasions, not the least of which was the goal by Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba in the 42nd minute. The Ivorean forward set up teammate Gervinho for the first goal in the 9th minute, and finished off a return effort from his teammate for the game’s second goal. He subbed out in the 63rd minute for Wilfred Bony.

“Yeah, it’s the second time that I’ve come to Dallas. First time I came with Chelsea and it was also a great moment because we won the game also,” Drogba said. “It’s amazing. People are very, very nice to us. We are lucky.”

Both Toure and Drogba spoke highly of the event organizers and said the experience in Frisco helped them prepare for the upcoming tournament.

“We have had great facilities,” Toure said. “The FC Dallas training ground is amazing. We couldn’t have a better place to prepare for the World Cup.”

“We’re very thankful to the owner of the Dallas team for welcoming us and giving us the chance to work well in very good conditions,” Drogba said.

This was the West Africans' last match before they take on Japan in their first World Cup game in Recife, Brazil on June 14.

“We are desperate to go through,” Drogba said. “We’ve been unlucky with the first two draws with big teams. There are no surprises but this year we are going to try to create the big surprise. It’s tough to surprise if I announce it, but we are going to do our best to make something positive.”