ST. LOUIS – Japan received two bits of bad news on Friday from Cote d’Ivoire’s 2-1 defeat by Bosnia-Herzegovina.
First, Ivorian centurion Kolo Toure has overcome malaria and will be back in training on Saturday, declaring himself ready for Japan’s first World Cup match on June 14 in Recife, Brazil.
Secondly, Didier Drogba, despite talk of his game slipping at 36 years of age, looked hot in a second-half cameo, sending a scorching free kick past Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic as if he was still in his prime.
Toure said he showed symptoms of malaria two days ago, but has recovered to a point where the Liverpool defender will aim to return in time for Wednesday’s friendly against El Salvador in Frisco, Texas.
“I’m just a little bit sick. I had malaria, but I’m fine now,” said Toure, whose younger brother Yaya joined the team earlier Friday. “I think I’ll start training from tomorrow. I will do my best to get ready for the next game, but I will fight for that.
“I’m going to be fine for the Japan game.”