Ivory Coast under pressure ahead of Ghana clash

CABINDA, Angola - Ivory Coast will be under huge pressure after a sloppy start in the African Nations Cup when they play Ghana in their last Group B game on Friday.

The Elephants, held to a 0-0 draw by Burkina Faso in their opening match earlier this week, would be on the verge of elimination if they lose at Cabinda's Chiazi Stadium.

With only three teams in the group after Togo left the tournament in the wake of a deadly attack on their bus last week, Ivory Coast are desperate for a victory.

Ghana, who were scheduled to start their campaign against Togo, have yet to play a game.

"That is a disadvantage because we did not see them play and they have a young team as they are missing a few important players", Ivory Coast coach Vahid Halilhodzic told a news conference on Thursday.

"We are in a difficult situation, that's a fact. But we will just have to... stop whining and win this game."

The top two in each group go into the quarter-finals

Ivory Coast, who will like the Black Stars qualified for this year's World Cup in South Africa, wasted a handful of chances against Burkina Faso and Halilhodzic is hopeful his strikers will find their range.

"This time, we must be more efficient, more determined," he said, adding he had received a word of support from the Ivorian president.

"I know what he is expecting. Let's face it, we are under huge pressure."

Striker Aruna Dindane added: "We fully know what the people of Ivory Coast expect and we are ready."

Halilhodzic, who has not lost a competitive game since he took charge of the Elephants in 2008, is determined to stay calm despite all the fuss.

"I know that the people in Abidjan, in the whole country, are disappointed," he said.

"We underperformed in our first game, we have an obligation to do well in the second. The atmosphere within the squad is excellent, we are on the right path."