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Ivory Coast cruises past Guinea Bissau in AFCON opener

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Elephants of Ivory Coast celebrate an early goal against Guinea Bissau in AFCON opener

Ivory Coast made a mince meat of Guinea Bissau in the opening match of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a 2-0 win.

The match kicked off in Abidjan with Ivory Coast maintaining a solid start, having most of the ball possessions.

They forced an early corner and Kessie delivered a nice ball, but Guinea-Bissau’s last man, Djoco, came out on time to punch out well.

It was an early goal, nonetheless, for Ivory Coast in the fifth minute, courtesy of Fofana.

Guinea-Bissau gave the ball away in defence and Kessie picked it up and laid it off to Fofana.

Guinea-Bissau broke through and Balde went for the jugular after Cande delivered his cross, but could not connect with his bicycle kick.

There was another stunner as the striker tried to take it on the volley, and connect well with his left foot, but it went over the bar, marking a confident first 15 minutes for the hosts.

Ivory Coast’s wingers – Boga and Bamba – maintained the heat on the visitors and continued to create openings.

Another huge chance came for Guinea-Bissau as Singo played a dreadful pass across the pitch and Rodrigues beat Ndicka to the ball but got clattereed.

For all the possession the hosts have had, that was their first real big chance since the goal.

It was almost two stunners from Fofana who had been brilliant driving forward from midfield so far.

Ndicka went down after a clash of heads with Alfa Semedo, but both soon got back on their feet to continue.

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Sangare and Balde both also went down holding their heads after a challenge for the ball.

Guinea-Bissau continued to fancy their chances of getting back into the game while it’s just 1-0 and Mane, Balde and Rodrigues were looking bright up-front for them.

However, despite not building upon their dominance with the ball, there have still been plenty of positive signs for Ivorians.

Aurier soon replaced Singo, being the former Tottenham defender’s fifth AFCON!

Guinea-Bissau seemed a lot more organised in the second half after giving away the ball that led to Fofana’s goal.

Ivory Coast’s Krasso, meanwhile, did not hesitate to double the lead for the hosts, 2-0.

Krasso took a touch and another to set him up, before swivelling to fire it past Djoco.

The Elephants, afterwards, relaxed after the second goal and evidently played with more confidence.

Guinea-Bissau then made a double substitute as Mane was replaced by Bolton’s Mendes Gomes, while Cassama got replaced by Franculino.

Djoco saved another devastating counter from the Ivory Coast with his feet after a Guinea-Bissau corner.

Konate wired the ball to Kessie but Djoco came to the rescue.

Nothing could taste better for the hosts than a win to start a tournament in front of home fans.


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