Cote D’Ivoire Held to a Stalemate by Togo.
The defending champions were held to a goalless draw by Togo in a not so entertaining match.
Despite the presence of quite a number of premier League players for Ivory Coast, Togo benefitted with a point as they were clearly the underdogs going into the match. With Eric Baily at the back, Wilfried Zaha on the wing, Jonathan Kodjia up front and later, Wilfried Bony replacing Zaha, the Elephants had all the tools to come out on top.
But they made it hard for Emmanuel Adebayor, Serge Gakpe and Floyd Ayite to penetrate Ivory Coast’s defense.
Zaha who only recently made the switch to Ivory Coast from the England national team, tried to showcase his undeniable talent whenever he got the ball but did not cause any damage as he came close to scoring only once in the first half. He cut in from the right and drove to the six-yard-box, but his shot was blocked.
There were a few threatening moments by the Elephants the best coming from a combination between Kessie, who drifted to combine with Zaha and the lapping Aurier.
The real chance came in the 29th minute and it was by Togo. Adebayor lunged forward, Daknonam set up Mathieu in the box, but Gbohou came out quickly to deny him the chance with a save. Perhaps the only significant save either keeper made throughout the game.
There were only flashes of ingenuity from the Ivoirians but it was Togo who looked more likely to win during the last minutes of the game. Counter attacks created half chances with all credit going to the deserving Man of the Match winner, Togolese midfielder, Lala Atakora.
The draw is a fourth of the tournament.
Featured photo: Emmanuel Adebayor heads the ball as Ivory Coast’s Surge Aurier looks on. (GETTY IMAGES)