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Ivory Coast 2-1 Togo

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Toure: Mobbed after opening goal

Toure: Mobbed after opening goal

Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) favourites Ivory Coast got their title march underway with a 2-1 win over Togo on Tuesday in Phokeng.

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Yaya Toure fired the Elephants in front as early as the eighth minute, only for Jonathan Ayite to pull one back for the Sparrow Hawks just before the break.

The Group D encounter looked to be heading for a draw with the final whistle looming, only for Gervinho to pop up inside the box two minutes from time to strike the winner at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

The match started off on a high note when Emmanuel Adebayor pounced on a back pass to Kolo Toure. The Tottenham striker did well until he rounded the goalkeeper and lost control of the ball with an open goal beckoning.

The stalemate didn't last for too long, however, as Gervinho found himself loads of space down the right. After working his way into the box, the Arsenal winger placed the ball on a silver platter for the oncoming Yaya Toure, who made no mistake in putting the ball in the back of the net.

The two teams appeared to cancel each other out for the remainder of the first half, as the Ivorians looked set to take a 1-0 lead into the break.

But it was not to be as Jonathan Ayite popped free of the Cote d'Ivoire defence and swept home the well-worked corner, sending the Togo fans into delirium going into the half-time break.

The second half started in a similar vein to the first, when Togo had a goal disallowed just four minutes after the restart.

The Ivorians made a substitution just before Togo were about to take a corner, and the Sparrow Hawks took their opponents unawares when they took the corner quickly, while Salomon Kalou was still making his way onto the pitch.

The ball was deflected into the goal off Dare Nibombe's head, only for the referee to pull it back. Togo re-took the corner, but Ivory Coast did well to clear their lines this time around.

It was more end-to-end stuff for most of the second half, before Gervinho popped out of nowhere to put away a Yaya Toure freekick. Togo goalkeeper Kossi Agassa will surely be at fault after watching the ball sail over his head onto Gervinho's left boot.

There was to be more drama right at the death, when Togo threw everything at the Ivorian goal, but Dakonam Djene was caught flat footed as Boubacar Barry failed to clear the ball out of the danger zone.

Posted: 22/01/13 16:58

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