The Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire beat the resilient Djurtus in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations opening game.
Hosts Cote d’Ivoire kicked off their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a 2-0 win over the Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau at the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium in Abidjan.
Seko Fofana gifted the two-time African champions the lead in the 4th minute of the game. The Elephants contained the Djurtus and created more goal-scoring chances as Fofana hit the woodwork in the first half.
The second half saw more chances created as both sides fought to get the first three points of the tournament in Group A, but it was the Ivoirians that got on the score sheet again in the second half through a Jean-Philippe Krasso 58th minute goal that gave them more confidence as President Alassane Ouattara watched from the stands.
The Djurtus tried to fight back, but the home side proved stronger and sent a message to other contenders.
Saturday’s win means that Ivory Coast tops Group A, pending the result of the second Group A game between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea on Sunday.
Ivory Coast and Nigeria will square off in the second round of games in what is one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament on Thursday.
The last time Nigeria and Ivory Coast faced each other in the tournament was in the quarterfinal of the 2013 edition, hosted by South Africa. Nigeria beat the Elephants 2-1 and went on to win the competition.