In a thrilling kick-off to AFCON 2023, Ivory Coast, the host nation, started their campaign on a positive note against Guinea-Bissau at the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé. The anticipation was tangible as both teams took the field, featuring notable Ligue 1 talents.
Ivory Coast started the match with two players from the French top-flight – Wilfried Singo of AS Monaco and Jérémie Boga from OGC Nice, while Guinea-Bissau started Fali Candé of FC Metz and Mama Baldé from Olympique Lyonnais.
From the opening whistle, the crowd witnessed a spirited battle on the pitch. Ivory Coast's determination and home advantage was evident as they dominated possession and displayed beautiful teamwork.
Ivory Coast’s first goal came in the 4th minute when Seko Fofana, the former RC Lens player, found the back of the net. The host nation further amplified their lead in the 58th minute when former AS Saint-Étienne striker Jean-Philippe Krasso netted a beautiful goal, extending the lead to 2-0.
The victory marked a significant milestone for Ivory Coast, maintaining the tradition of host nations not losing in their opening AFCON matches. The last time this trend was broken was in 1998 when Burkina Faso fell to Cameroon (0-1). Ivory Coast will now be looking for a consecutive victory as they face Nigeria on January 18. Meanwhile, Guinea-Bissau looks to bounce back in their upcoming clash against Equatorial Guinea on the same day.
Photo credit: CAF_Online