Ivory Coast started their AFCON campaign with a narrow win over Equatorial Guinea.
Ivory Coast defeated Equatorial Guinea in their Africa Cup of Nations game on Wednesday. The Elephants were far from their best but still managed to bag the three points.
An early goal seals the victory!
Ivory Coast started the game as the dominant side and soon got their first goal. Following a defensive blunder from Guinea defenders, Max-Alain Gradel latched onto the ball near the box. The Sivasspor winger then smashed the ball past Sapunga Mbara with a well-executed shot into the top-right corner.
The pace of the game dropped significantly for the remainder of the first half. The Elephants had a few chances to increase their lead while Equatorial Guinea were yet to find their feet.
At the beginning of the second half, however, Guniea managed to make several decent chances to equalize the game. The midfield duo of Pepin and Pablo Ganet won most of the battles in midfield, sending long balls past the Elephant’s backline.
However, Equatorial Guinea forwards were not clinical enough to use their chances. Ivory Coast had a few more chances to score at the latter stages of the game but eventually settled for a 1-0 win.
The victory sends Ivory Coast on top of the Group E table as the other match of the group ended in a draw. The Elephants will meet Sierra Leone in their next game on Sunday. Elsewhere in the group, Equatorial Guinea will lock horns with Algeria on the same day.
Equatorial Guinea: Sapunga (6), Coco (7), Obiang (6), Nchama (6), Akapo (7), Ganet (6), Pepín (6), Salvador (6), Buyla (5), Hanza (5), Nsue (6).
Bench: Siafa (6), Meseguer (6), Nlavi (7).
Ivory Coast: Sangaré (7), Bailly (7), Deli (7), Konan (8), Maiga (6), Kessié (6), I. Sangaré (7), Seri (6), Haller (6), Gradel (7), Cornet (6).
Bench: Kouame (7), Pepe (6), Zaha (6), Dié (6).
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