Hosts Ivory Coast kick off Africa Cup of Nations with victory over Guinea-Bissau

Seko Fofana and Jean-Philippe Krasso lifted tournament hosts Ivory Coast to a 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau in front of an elated Abidjan crowd to kick off the Africa Cup of Nations.

Fofana fired the Elephants in front inside four minutes at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium, punishing their Group A rivals for a lapse at the back, and came inches away from adding another before the break.

Krasso doubled the lead with a volleyed effort to buy his side a bit of breathing room in the 58th minute as former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba looked on from the stands.

The visitors came closest when Mama Balde put Franculino Dju through on goal late in the second half, but they never looked like staging a serious comeback.

Fofana’s opener was the result of a defensive lapse by the visitors, who gave the ball away in a dangerous position allowing the Manchester City academy graduate to latch onto Franck Kessie’s low pass and whip the ball past Guinea-Bissau goalkeeper Ouparine Djoco into the top corner.

Fofana nearly doubled his side’s advantage when he forced Djoco into a brilliant fingertip save, the keeper getting enough contact to push against the crossbar and out of danger.

Despite a decent start from Guinea-Bissau, who did have their chances and made it perhaps a closer contest than some expected for a side 54 places above them in FIFA’s world rankings, the home nation continued to control proceedings after the break.

Another Guinea-Bissau error led to Krasso’s alert effort as he patiently controlled the ball on a bounce inside the area before volleying low into the right corner to seal the result.


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