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Ivory Coast Goes Home Proud

Nobody wanted to see the Ivory Coast go home. They took it to the Netherlands and Argentina, two of the World Cup's heavyweights, and deserved to do better on both occasions than lose, 2-1. It's disappointing to see the African side go home prematurely, but it's also depressing when you consider that the Ivory Coast's 6-year long civil war is likely to resume once the tournament ends for them on Wednesday. You can only hope that both sides of the religious divide take some solace in the fact that the national soccer teamwhich contained both Christians and Muslimsdid its country proud. Arsenal defender Kolo Toure, a devout Muslim who's an advocate for peace, said, "When we play, we are representing our whole country." The goal for them, he has always said, has been to show the world "a positive side to Ivory Coast." The quality the Ivory Coast brought to Group C was duly noted by both its conquerors, who'll both be going through to the second round. "That team made us fight to the end, until the very last moment," Dutch coach Marco Van Basten said after yesterday's match. "They are a very strong team. As strong as we've faced since I've been coach."

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