The Elephants of la Cote d’Ivoire has opened their campaign in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament with a 1-0 victory over the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
The 2015 Champions faced off with their Group D opponent, Bafana Bafana for the first time in the tournament at the Al Salam Stadium this afternoon in search of a first win to start off the campaign.
A well-dominated display from the side ensured that they deservedly won the match even though not convincing as they would have wanted.
The two teams produced some entertaining stuff on the field of play in a match tagged as the most difficult as far as the group phase is concerned. Nibble footed Lille attacker, Nicholas Pepe wowed spectators with some serious showboating, leaving fans to yearn for more as the game progressed,
Despite creating some decent chances, neither side could break the deadlock and had to settle for a goalless draw at the end of the first half.
The Ivorians piled more pressure on their matchday opponent after resuming the second half and finally got their reward on the 64th minute courtesy a composed finish from Aston Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia. The attacker fed off an inviting low cross from Max-Alain Gradel and swept it home to give his side the lead.
South Africa created some half chances but the lack of quality in their forward line exposed them in their final thirds as they failed to really test goalkeeper in post for the Elephants.
Not only is the win giving the Ivorians 3 points, but it is also going down in history as their first victory over South Africa at an AFCON tournament.