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It took just four minutes for the competition to get up and running as Seko Fofana put Ivory Coast 1-0 up. The tournament hosts pounced on a terrible pass from Jefferson Encada just outside the Guinea-Bissau box and Fofana smashed in a nice goal despite being surrounded by defenders.
The visitors broke through just before the half-hour mark for their first big chance of the game but Mama Balde could not beat the goalkeeper. Ivory Coast responded with another excellent shot effort from Fofana, only to see goalkeeper Ouparine Djoco tip it onto the bar. The Ivorians had another great opportunity moments later but Jean-Philippe Krasso’s effort from close range was blocked.
While chances were few and far between for them, Guinea-Bissau maintained some hope of staying in the game, but that all came to an end just before the hour mark when Opa Sangante’s calamitous defending gifted Krasso a chance and he made no mistake in firing it in.
As well as opening the scoring early on with a fine finish, Fofana was a big threat for Ivory Coast throughout the 90 minutes. He was well placed to hit a shot from the edge of the box that was well saved by the goalkeeper and was always reliable on the ball.
THE BIG LOSER
Terrible defensive work from Guinea-Bissau played a role in both goals but Sangante will face some extreme criticism for his comical actions that gifted Krasso the chance to double their lead. He flapped at the ball as he attempted to clear it inside the box and was duly punished for his tame efforts.
WHAT COMES NEXT?
Ivory Coast will hope to make it two wins in a row when they take on Nigeria in their next game on January 18. On the same day, Guinea-Bissau will hope to recover when they meet Equatorial Guinea.