May 24, 2024

Cote D’Ivoire Beat Guinea Bissau In AFCON Curtain-raiser

2 min read
Spread the love

By Sportsgister

Host nation Ivory Coast kicked off the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau, meaning they have now lost just one of their previous 11 matches.

For only the second time in the tournament’s history and the first since 1984, Ivory Coast are the AFCON hosts, and they were clearly eager to put on a show in front of their own supporters.

They were dominant in the opening period against the African Wild Dogs, who embarked on only their fourth participation in this tournament, and the home side needed only four minutes to take the lead. Captain Seko Fofana was the hero, unleashing an unstoppable strike from the edge of the box to send the expectant crowd into raptures.

 

There were numerous other opportunities for the Elephants before the interval, as Wilfried Singo directed a header over the bar before Guinea-Bissau skipper Jonas Mendes produced a stunning save to tip Fofana’s thunderbolt onto the bar. Ivory Coast thought they should have had a penalty as HT approached when Jean-Phillipe Krasso went down under pressure from Marcelo Djaló in the penalty area, but referee Amin Omar did not believe there was enough contact to warrant a spot-kick. As such, only one goal separated the two sides at the break.

 

Jean-Louis Gasset’s men remained on top at the start of the second period, and shortly before the hour mark, they were two to the good thanks to Krasso’s clever volleyed finish. Guinea-Bissau rarely threatened, but with just under 15 minutes remaining, Franculino Djú forced Yahia Fofana into an important stop.

Ultimately, though, Baciro Candé’s unfancied outfit came off second best in what was a routine victory for Ivory Coast.

The West African nation have long been blessed with plenty of top talent, but with only two AFCON trophies to their name and no semi-final appearances since 2015, they have often struggled to live up to expectations.

With the crowd on their side, they will be hoping they have what it takes to go all the way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *