In a thrilling kickoff to the much-anticipated 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, the Cote d’Ivoire national football team, known as the Elephants, showcased their prowess with a commanding 2-0 win against Guinea-Bissau at the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium in Abidjan.
The 2023 AFCON was finally declared open on Saturday, January 13, 2024, with FIFA President amongst the guests in Abidjan.
After the opening formalities, it was the Elephants who wasted no time in annoucning their intention in the opening game, taking just four minutes to open the scoring in the Group A clash.
Al Nassr midfielder Seko Fofana, demonstrated skill and precision as he unleashed a powerful strike into the top left corner of the net.
The early goal set the tone for Ivory Coast’s dominant performance, much to the delight of the 36,000-plus fans in attendance.
Throughout the match, the hosts maintained control, with Fofana coming close to extending the lead on multiple occasions. Guinea-Bissau struggled to contain Ivory Coast’s attacking prowess, and their defensive efforts were tested by the relentless offensive plays.
In the 58th minute, Ivory Coast secured their second goal, with Jean-Phillipe Krasso displaying impeccable technique. The Red Star Belgrade striker executed a skillful flick in the box before delivering an acrobatic finish that left the goalkeeper with no chance.
Despite efforts from Guinea-Bissau, including a notable attempt from substitute Franculino Dju, Ivory Coast’s defense remained resolute, securing a clean sheet for the hosts.
The victory marks a strong start for Ivory Coast in the AFCON 2023 campaign, setting the stage for their upcoming clash against Nigeria on Thursday in the second round of group stage matches.
Ivorien fans are hopeful that their team’s stellar performance in the opener is a foreshadowing of a successful campaign on home soil as they aim for glory in the prestigious continental tournament.
The last time Cote d’Ivoire hosted the AFCON , it ended in a sad group stage exit, a memory they will look to erase if they build on this opening day win.