Following their FIFA Women's World Cup debut in Canada in 2015, Cote d'Ivoire are relishing the prospect of achieving the same feat at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.
This clearly underscored the hunger in the current set of Ivorians to help the West African nation to secure a first-ever ticket in the ongoing CAF Women's Olympic qualifying tournament.
The Ivorians are handled by former international Clementine Toure, who starred for the country until 2002 before shifting to coaching two years later and led Equatorial Guinea to African title triumph in 2008.
In 2010, the 42-year-old took over the reins of Cote d'Ivoire and has made a huge mark as she steered the country to their maiden FIFA Women's World Cup qualification following a third-place finish at the 2014 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Namibia.
In her ambition to inspire them to a first-ever appearance in the Olympics, Toure will seek to ensure her side maintain their impressive run in qualifying series as they face Cameroon.
Ange N'Guessan remains one of the leading stars in Toure's squad, having starred in the country's historic qualification to the World Cup in 2015, where her goal against Norway was voted as one of ten best goals of the tournament in Canada.
Despite her inability to power her side to qualify for the 2018 Women's Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana and also a back-to-back WAFU Zone B Women's Cup title miss in May, the Tenerife star is unmoved as she set her sights on making history.
“That's football. We tried to qualify, but unfortunately, it wasn't to be. For the qualifiers, we're going to fight to qualify for Tokyo 2020," N'Guessan, who scored the Ivorians second goal in 3-0 win against Mali in Abidjan told CAFOnline.com
At the start, the Ivorians were given a walkover against Sierra Leone in the opening round of the qualifications. In the second round, they put up a spirited first-leg performance to beat Mali 3-0 in Abidjan and knocked out the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-finalist by the same margin on aggregate after they played out a 0-0 draw in the second leg in Bamako.
‘Les Elephantes’ showed their indomitable character against African champions Nigeria in the third round as they played out a 0-0 draw in Abidjan before they completed the job away from home at the Agege Stadium in Lagos, drawing 1-1 to advance on away goal in October.
Having eliminated Mali and Nigeria, the Ivorians earned their giant-killers status but must find their way past Alain Djeumba's side in a two-legged encounter to reach the final stage of the qualifiers and keep alive their Tokyo 2020 dreams.
This will be the fourth time Cote d'Ivoire is playing against Cameroon since their first meeting in 2012. History does not favour Toure's side as they lost all three previous meetings, including their last 3-2 loss in a World Cup build-up in 2015.
They will have to overcome Alain Djeumfa's side in a double-header to reach the final of the qualifiers with the first leg is due for Abidjan on 9 November and the return three days later in Yaounde.
Fixtures (Fourth Round)
08.11.2019 Nairobi Kenya vs Zambia
09.11.2019 Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire vs Cameroon
11.11.2019 Lusaka Zambia vs Kenya
12.11.2019 Yaounde Cameroon vs Cote d’Ivoire