Wilmots Parts Ways With Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast’s Belgian coach Marc Wilmot looking on at the Felix Houphet-Boigny stadium in Abidjan. Photo: ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

Belgian coach Marc Wilmots parted ways with Ivory Coast on Wednesday after failing to help the West African country to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Ivory Coast lost their decisive World Cup match 2-0 to Morocco on Saturday, leading to talks between the Federation and Wilmots.

“At the end of talks, the two parties agreed to amicably end their collaboration, all the while praising the good atmosphere during the six months of work together,” the Federation said.

Ex-Belgium coach Wilmots, 48, had signed a two-year deal with Ivory Coast in March, with a possibility to extend that by a further two years.

AFP

Belgium Sacks Coach Marc Wilmots

Belgium, Marc wilmotsBelgian Football Federation has relieved Marc Wilmots from his job as the Head Coach of the National Team.

This is according to a statement by the Federation’s website.

“The Royal Belgian Football Association have made an agreement with Marc Wilmots to end his contract that lasted until 2018.

“We would like to thank Marc Wilmots for his work during the last four years.

“With Marc Wilmots as a head coach, the Red Devils have climbed from the 54th position to the top of the FIFA World Ranking.

He managed to win 34 games out of 51, including eight draws. Above all, the fans have reinstalled their love for the Belgian Red Devils during this period.

“The RBFA’s Technical Commission have made an evaluation of the recent UEFA Euro 2016 and have declared that the intended goals have not been reached.

“There is a common sense that the team needs a new impulse to lead this group towards a top result at a major tournament.

“The Belgian FA will immediately start the procedure to find a new head coach, in a transparent way. The idea is to start the upcoming games in September with a new coach, beginning with an international friendly game in Brussels against Spain on the 1st of September.”

Wilmots, 47, had been leading the national team since 2012 and managed to guide the team to the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup.

Euro 2016: Sing, Chant, Be The 12th Man, Gareth Bale Urges Fans

Gareth BaleWales star, Gareth Bale, has sent out a special message to supporters before they face Belgium in their UEFA EURO 2016 quarter-final match on Friday.

He told Uefa.com, “We know it’s a massive game, it’s a quarter final of the European Championships but it’s one we want to go out and enjoy.

“We want everybody to sing and chant, enjoy the occasion and keep an eye on the team and be the 12th man as they have always done.

“We will try as a whole nation to win the game and try to enjoy the experience as a nation. Hopefully we can celebrate after.”

Wales’s manager, Chris Coleman, also acknowledges the uniqueness of the occasion, “We’re not going to talk it down. We’re going to savour this occasion, as we have done all along.

“This is another huge test and it’s another in a line of challenges that we’ve already met. It’s a great position to be in. We’ve got to go and do all the things that have got us in this position in the first place.

“Within the group the pressure is on us to keep performing. We’ve had to win differently [at this tournament].

“Belgium are recognised as one of the best teams in international football and we’ve played them four times in the last two campaigns. But it’s all about us and our preparation. Just because it’s Belgium, there’s been no dramas in our camp.”

Belgium will be without the services of Jan Vertonghen who turned his left ankle at the very end of training and has torn two ankle ligaments.

Manager, Marc Wilmots, nevertheless is not perturbed by the setback.

“We are now in the quarter-finals – the Hungary game is in the past and we need to focus on this game against Wales. I think we have to keep doing what we’ve done well so far. Nobody knows what sort of team will be put out, so I really need everyone to stay on their toes.

“A manager is always scared of his team having an off-day. It can happen. Hungary went well, but now we must remain focused and not take it for granted that we will win easily.

“It will be a tough match, it’s a different opposition this time. They are a team with pace, who play good football and a lot of them play in England.

“They are a side who defend really well and who have real talent on the counterattack. Now the stakes are different, this is no longer a qualification game for points. We are going out there with the semi-finals of the EURO as a prize – that is completely different.”

Euro 2016: Italy Beat Sweden 1-0 To Make Last 16

euro 2016Italy have maintained their Group E dominance in the ongoing Euro 2016 championship after beating Sweden 1 – 0.

The Italians were able to get through to the Round of 16 with a late goal in the 88th minute from Inter Milan forward, Eder Martins.

The match was played on Friday at the Stadium de Toulouse in France.Italy-Sweden, Euro 2016

Italy had beaten Belgium 2 – 0 in their first match with goals from Emanuele Giaccherini and Graziano Pelle.

On the flip side, Sweden have been struggling to get a win in the competition after their match with the Republic of Ireland ended 1 – 1.

While Sweden are currently third in the group with one point, the match between Belgium and the Republic of Ireland would determine who will come second.

Euro 2016: Experienced Italy Stun Belgium 2-0

euro 2016A united Italy team on Monday night dented Belgium’s chances of glory at the Euro 2016 with a clinical 2-0 victory in Lyon.

Emanuele Giaccherini scored the opening goal in the 31st minute, while Graziano Pelle scored sealed the victory through a classic counter attack in the 91st minute.

After going one goal down, the Belgians missed several chances as they chased the equalizer all through the second half but Italy defended well.

Romelu Lukaku would be one of the guilty players, wasting one of the best goal scoring chances on the night as Marc Wilmots’ men failed to make it 1-1.

Pellè settled Italy’s nerves with a second after one of Belgium’s desperate attacking forays went bad and resulted in a counterattack.

Belgium, ranked number two in the world and rated as one of the pre-tournament favourites, are now bottom of Group E with Ireland and Sweden in second and third after drawing 1-1.

Earlier in the day, reigning champions Spain left it late as Gerard Pique’s 87th-minute header earned them a deserved 1-0 victory over a dogged Czech Republic in their Group D opener.

Spanish Coach, Vicente Del Bosque selected under-pressure goalkeeper, David De Gea for the starting line-up.

In the most one-sided game of the tournament so far, Vicente Del Bosque’s side looked like they would not get any reward for their possession until the Barcelona defender headed in Andres Iniesta’s cross.

Hazard Injured, To Miss Belgium’s Euro Qualifier

HazardThe Belgian national team manager, Marc Wilmots, has confirmed that Chelsea’s in-form midfielder, Eden Hazard, would miss Belgium’s Friday night Euro 2016 qualifier against Andorra.

This is a precaution ahead of the team’s Monday night duel against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zenica.

Hazard’s exclusion from the home game against Andorra is to get him 100% fit for a supposedly tougher match away to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Coach Wilmots, via his twitter had announced; “As a precaution, @hazardeden10 will not play against Andorra because of a bruised toe. Trying to get him 100 per cent for #bosbel.”

Harzard had picked up a knock in Chelsea’s 2-0 Premier League win over Arsenal at the weekend but still joined the national team in preparation for the double qualifiers.

News on FIFA.com also revealed that Coach Wilmot has certified Hazard’s club and international team-mate, Thibaut Courtois, fit after the head injury which ended his weekend involvement against the Gunners.

Belgium are placed in Group B alongside Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Wales and Israel for qualification towards the UEFA Euro 2016.