Ivory Coast came from a goal behind to win 2-1 against Japan on Saturday.
Wilfried Bony got the Elephants back on level terms after Keisuke Honda’s opener, and just seconds later Gervinho scored what proved to be the winner.
The game completely changed following the second-half introduction of Didier Drogba, and while the African outfit went in search of goals their Asian counterparts opted to sit back, and it cost them.
Following are ratings and analysis for both sets of players.
Half-Time analysis for Ivory Coast
Barry: Looking very wobbly on set-pieces.
Aurier: Has shown his pace and played in a few decent crosses, but his performance has been rather unpolished.
Bamba: Has so far won all of his aerial battles.
Zokora: Better playing the ball forward than facing an opposition counter-attack.
Boka: Took a rare Ivorian shot late in the first half.
Y.Toure: Yet to display the dominance he showed all season long at Manchester City.
Tiote: His passing continues to be underrated.
Serey Die: He and his midfield teammates are not the problem here.
Gervinho: Took three shots and earned a pair of corners.
Bony: Matter of time before Drogba replaces him.
Kalou: Seems to have forgot his finishing boots.
Full-Time analysis for Ivory Coast
Barry: Spent much of the second half as a spectator.
Aurier: Assisted on both Ivory Coast goals with crosses from the right.
Bamba: Won all of his aerial battles in Recife.
Zokora: Booked for complaining that Y.Toure should have won a penalty.
Boka: Withdrawn with an apparent knee injury.
Y.Toure: Created several chances but still doesn’t seem fully fit.
Tiote: Bossed the midfield after the restart.
Serey Die: Didn’t misplace a single pass before being withdrawn.
Gervinho: Finally broke through thanks to Kawashima’s mistake at the near post.
Bony: Got the slightest of glances on Aurier’s cross to open the scoring.
Kalou: Took four shots but rarely troubled Kawashima.
Drogba: His introduction was the spark that ignited the Ivory Coast offense.
Ya Konan: The elephants only gained in offensive dominants when he came onto the pitch.
Djakpa: Just nine touches of the ball in a brief cameo.
Half-Time analysis for Japan
Kawashima: Did well to prevent a rebound on Boka’s awkward shot.
Uchida: Swept to his left to deny Gervinho with his defensive teammates out of position.
Yoshida: The only player on a booking so far.
Morishige: Has completed 94 percent of his passes out of the defense.
Nagatomo: Distribution has been abysmal, but he did earn an assist on the Honda goal.
Yamaguchi: Preventing Y.Toure and Serey Die from gaining a foot-hold.
Hasebe: Has barely put a foot wrong so far and is spreading the ball around nicely.
Okazaki: Tracked back to make an early intervention in his own goalmouth.
Honda: Escaped Y.Toure before beating both Zokora and Barry with a shot from distance.
Kawaga: Has yet to happen for him offensively, but he’s been defensively committed.
Osako: The 24-year-old has yet to take a single shot.
Full-Time analysis for Japan
Kawashima: Might have done better on the Gervinho winner.
Uchida: The right-back was Japan’s best defender.
Yoshida: Won all of his aerial battles.
Morishige: Distribution was good, but he didn’t handle the Ivorian pressure all that well.
Nagatomo: Run into the ground by Aurier.
Yamaguchi: Cut through like butter after the restart.
Hasebe: His comeback from injury ended in the 54th minute—before Ivory Coast had scored their first goal.
Okazaki: Barely had a touch in the second half.
Honda: Faded from the contest after opening the scoring.
Kawaga: Another disappointing outing in a season full of them.
Osako: Didn’t take a single shot on the night.
Endo: The veteran failed to fill Hasebe’s shoes.
Okubo: Only five touches for the 32-year-old.
Kakitani: Played the final four minutes.