Goals from Yaya Toure, Romaric and Salomon Kalou ensured Sven Goran Eriksson's last game in charge of Les Elephants ended in victory but it was ultimately an academic result.
To get into the knockout stages, Cote d'Ivoire had to beat Korea DPR and hope Brazil thrashed Portugal to help over turn Portugal's vastly superior goal difference.
However, Portugal and Brazil held each other to a goalless draw as they both booked their respective spots in the knockout stages.
Yet that should not detract from an entertaining performance from Eriksson's side - who could easily have scored twice as many goals.
Yaya Toure should have delivered the dream start when he had a one-on-one after just 55 seconds but Ri Myong-Guk was equal to the chance and the opportunity was squandered.
Because a big win was crucial, Eriksson played Gervinho and Kader Keita alongside Didier Drogba up front and they caused trouble from the start.
After 10 minutes, Gervinho had a shot that skimmed across the goal-line but ultimately stayed out as the breakthrough remained elusive while Drogba also had a goal correctly ruled out for offside.
However, Les Elephants finally found their target after 14 minutes when Yaya Toure brilliantly sidefooted home from the edge of the box to give Cote d'Ivoire a glimmer of hope and that hope was intensified soon after when Romaric made it 2-0.
He followed up a Drogba effort that bounced back off the crossbar to head home.
Korea DPR offered little going forward although a Hong Yong-Jo free-kick after 20 minutes caused concern before finally drifting wide.
However, just as Cote d'Ivoire should have been pressing home their advantage, the opposite happened as the match went into hibernation mode and no more real chances arrived until the stroke of half-time when Gervinho again hit the post.
After the interval, Tae-Se had one long range effort comfortably saved by Boubaca Barry and Yong-Jo was also more dangerous as Korea DPR briefly rose to the challenge.
However, Cote d'Ivoire were by far the better side even if the goals would not flow as quickly as they needed to.
Keita and Gervinho looked to be the most threatening players until Eriksson inexplicably replaced them with 25 minutes to go.
It seemed a strange decision considering the fact that Eriksson's side needed goals aplenty but replacement Kalou did manage to grab one more but it was never going to be enough.