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Africa Cup of Nations
January 22, 2013
• Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Phokeng, NW
Referee: N. Alioum
• Attendance: 2000
Y. Touré 8'
Y. Gervinho 88'
J. Ayité 45'+
90' + 4'
Full-time in Rustenberg, and in the end, it was a narrow win for the Ivorians. Stay with Goal.com for live coverage of Algeria v Tunisia coming up at 1900 CET. Thanks for all your comments, and I'll see you again soon!
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME: Ivory Coast 2-1 Togo.
90' + 4'
AYITE! OH IT'S WASTED! SO CLOSE FOR TOGO! A thrilling end to the match here. Cross in by Adebayor, headed on by Bossou sees Ayite tee up a header, saved point-blank by Copa Barry. What a save.
90' + 3'
Adebayor ploughs forward looking for a last minute equaliser. Salifou onto Segbefia, a cross in deep - and it's too long. Frustrating for the Sparrow Hawks, who are wasting their few chances.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Last substitution for Togo - Salifou on for Nibombe. They're going all out in injury time. Meanwhile, Bony cannot get a header on target, under pressure from the defence.
FOUR MINUTES OF ADDED TIME.
Well, Ivory Coast are set to become the second team to win a match at this year's AFCON. Superb goal, really superb from the Elephants. Togo have dug deep, but even then it may not be enough.
Assist Yaya Touré
GOAL! IVORY COAST TAKE THE LEAD! They might've won this you know. What a mistake by Kossi Agassa. Toure's free-kick is deep, and it's a fine finish from Gervinho who makes a mockery of the acute angle to turn it in!
Free-kick to the Ivory Coast. Yaya Toure to take this, and he roars to his team-mates to get up the field. He's teeing up a delivery....
@ENGRJUSTMAN on Twitter: I think its fair to say that this AFCON has lost some of its vibes with all this draws not good.
BOSSOU! THAT WAS THE CHANCE! That was the chance for Togo to steal this! And it's wasted. Brilliant delivery from Floyd Ayite, past everyone and into the defender. He strikes, off Tiote and over the bar.
What a chance for Togo. Beautifully whipped in, and it's headed behind by Bony, past his own goalkeeper and luckily, wide of the post. Corner to Togo.
@stanlienonsonic on Twitter: There are really no small teams in this Afcon! Big ups to Togo..just hang on - Agreed!
Segbefia adding steel to the Togo attack, as Adebayor does well to hold up the play, and remain patient in snuffing out a chance. Akakpo's progress checked by Tiote.
@kabenukam on Twitter: I hope this is Drogba's last Afcon really, he has faded - Harsh words from one fan.
Ghana - held. Zambia - held. Morocco - held. And now favourites Ivory Coast are about to head that way too. They've lacked the urgency to find a winner as a cross is pushed out by Agassa under pressure from his own defender Nibombe.
Substitution: Last roll of the dice by Didier Six - Ayite off, Segbefia on.
AYITE! Could've used Adebayor, who sauntered to the right of him. Instead, goalscorer Jon Ayite turns left past his marker, but drags his shot wide.
Togo defending well, they're looking to shut up shop at the back with a resolute rearguard display. Can they hold on and get a tricky Group D campaign off to the best possible start?
@illbreez on Twitter: Really a draw in the Afcon for the elephants is very bad. Togo had to prove that they are not a small team.
YAYA TOURE! Frustration once more from the Elephants. Gervinho squares a pass towards Toure, and it's not powerful enough. Comfortable for Agassa to snuff that one out.
Strike from Kolo Toure saved well by Kossi Agassa. But there's a substitution from Lamouchi - Didier Drogba taken OFF - replaced by Vitesse Arnhem's Wilfried Bony.
Corner not dealt with well by Togo as Drogba latches onto the loose ball and finds Yaya Toure to attempt a second delivery. Headed away at the second attempt by the Sparrow Hawks.
Kalou clears an opening, but Mamah is on hand to ricochet the ball away hurriedly. Togo living a little dearly at the moment. Corner for the Ivory Coast.
Last 20 minutes in this Africa Cup of Nations Group D encounter. Could we be heading for a sixth draw in seven games? Only Mali have prevailed in their fixtures thus far.
Kalou twists past the midfielder as the Ivorians keep posession. Yaya Toure, deep in midfield sees Gervinho make a run down the flank ahead f him, but once more it's overhit.
Mamah skips past his marker down the right flank in search of a Togolese opportunity. Looks to have taken a deflection off Tiene, but the referee has given a goal-kick.
@stanlienonsonic on Twitter: I won't be surprised to see these Togolese side take up all three points - really wouldn't at all. They've been better than expected today.
Crowd building up as the sun begins to set in South Africa. Nevertheless, the crowd is actually building - somewhat surprisingly. In anticipation of the Tunisia and Algeria game next.
Didier Ya Konan
Drogba has been rather isolated up front. He has been fouled by Amewou, with the Elephants awarded a free-kick. 30 metres out, and it's clattered into the wall.
Substitution: Cheick Tiote is on for the Ivory Coast. The Newcastle United midfielder was surprisingly left out by Sabri Lamouchi, but makes his AFCON 2013 debut now.
Yellow Card Daré Nibombe
Substitution for Togo: Floyd Ayite ON - Serge Gakpe - OFF.
Nibombe earns a yellow card after yet another clattering tackle from Togo, this time on Yaya Toure.
GOAL! NO! RULED OUT! Quick play from Togo. Too quick for the liking of the referee. Corner is headed in by Nibombe, but the referee cancels it out. What a shame.
Substitution: Max Gradel OFF - Lille's Salomon Kalou ON.
Free-kick wasted by Tiene, and the rebound is fired over the bar. Activity on the bench for the Ivorians.
Eboue wins a free-kick after being caught by Djene, who needs to be careful. Set-piece is about 30 metres out. Drogba's just wasted one, but can he improve this time around?
GRADEL! Another good Ivorian chance goes begging. On his inside left, he strikes straight at Agassa, who does well to palm it away.Shot was straight at him, however.
We've seen some shocking tackles at the AFCON so far, and the two sides haven't disappointed. Djene with an eyebrow-raising lunge on an Ivorian midfielder there.
Togo have a half-chance here as Serge Gakpe fails to trouble Copa Barry on the other side of the pitch. Good momentum from the Sparrow Hawks in Rustenberg.
GRADEL! Offside. Great movement on the far side from the Saint-Etienne man, formerly in England with Leeds. He holds off pressure before crossing in, left foot towards Drogba. Offside flag raised.
Zokora, or known as Maestro according to the official team sheet, is ordered off the field with some tape issue spotted by the ref. The Elephants are down to ten at the moment.
Tonight, it's a Maghreb derby between Algeria and Tunisia in Rustenberg. Algeria, back at the tournament after missing out last year, will want to better the Ivorian's result here. There'll be live commentary on Goal.com too at 1900 CET.
Ivory Coast have come out much more positive in this second half, compared to their sluggish opening in the first half. Another delivery towards Drogba is calmly picked out by Agassa.
Oh dear. The less said about that, the better. It's absolutely wild from Didier Drogba and flies miles over the bar. Not what you've seen at Stamford Bridge, or elsewhere - that's for sure.
Yellow Card Alaixys Romao
Romao with a crunching challenge on Gervinho. The Lorient man earns himself a booking, the third this afternoon. Free-kick, about 35 metres out....
UNDERWAY IN THE SECOND HALF! Gradel attempts almost immediately, a long-range effort which flies wide.
The teams are back for the second half at the Royal Bafokeng. Can we see a winner? Or a sixth draw at the 29th Africa Cup of Nations?
Half-time in Rustenberg. Superb Togo equaliser at the end of the first half has pegged back the Ivory Coast in an entertaining encounter in South Africa. Both sides have had plenty of chances at either end. Join me again in 15 minutes for the second half.
45' + 2'
Assist Serge Gakpe
45' + 2'
Goal Jonathan Ayite
GOAL! TOGO EQUALISE! Fantastic, well deserved. Corner drifted in from the right, and bundled in by Jonathan Ayite. The Elephants defence were nowhere to be seen. It's right on the half-time whistle too.
45' + 2'
HALF-TIME: Ivory Coast 1-1 Togo
45' + 2'
Lovely celebration from Ayite and co. And there is no time to re-start the half in Rustenberg.
INTO TWO ADDITIONAL MINUTES AT THE END OF THE FIRST HALF
BAMBA! Should've been 2-0. No question. Gervinho active again, after a brilliant shot from Yaya Toure cannons OFF THE POST. Into the path of Bamba and fired horribly over the bar.
Lovely turn from Gervinho who gets a fine pass in towards Drogba, after beating Nibombe. Drogba is challenged well, and is seeking a penalty for his troubles.
ADEBAYOR! Poor again from the Tottenham star. Brilliant pace from Gakpe on the right as he strives to get the cross in. In truth, Adebayor's control is fine, but cannot get the volley in time before it's charged down.
Eboue does well to hold the ball up as he awaits back-up. Gervinho on the over-lap, and with support advancing. His low cross is held well by Agassa. The Reims goalkeeper recovering after a poor start.
Comical. A beautiful ball launched upwards towards Ayite leaves the defenders scrambling. Barry - supposedly bored at the back races forward out of his box to clear the ball, and almost picks out Drogba, before Bossou powers in, attempting to score arguably the greatest goal in world football with the keeper off his line, but fails miserably.
@DJxtian on Twitter: Ivory Coast 1-1 Togo - that's how the Africa Cup of Nations is going this time, majority of the games will be a draw
Ten minutes until half-time at the Royal Bafokeng. Favourites Ivory Coast lead 1-0 against Togo. Drogba challenges Bossou on the field for an aerial ball, and the former Chelsea star lectures his opponent who goes down.
Yellow Card Vincent Bossou
Bossou is the next in the book. Second yellow card in a minute dished out by Neant Alioum, the referee. Bossou with a crunching challenge in midfield, and it's deserved.
Yellow Card Max-Alain Gradel
BOOKED: Max Alain-Gradel - the Saint-Etienne player has been booked for leaving the field of play without the referee's permission.
AYITE! Superb shot from the Ligue 1-based player. He races past Tiene, and under pressure from Bamba, he clips a shot just wide. Barry again threatened.
Predictions: "@djxtian20 predicts Ivory Coast 1-1 Togo and @Marfisto101 predicts 4-1 to the Elephants.
GAKPE! Just over the bar. Dipping effort from the set-piece, and it has Barry watching that all the way over the bar. He's had two decent chances now. Better from Togo.
Adebayor tees up Gakpe who goes down under the challenge of Eboue on the edge of the area. Free-kick awarded by the Cameroonian referee, and it's in a very promising position.
@martesla07 on Twitter predicts: Ivory Coast 2 Togo 1 - Meanwhile, on the pitch. Gervinho requires some medical treatment after another rash challenge from the Togolese. In the stands, there are a couple of very colourful individuals. Love the Africa Cup of Nations!
Note, that Ivory Coast have not conceded a goal in this competition since the 24th January 2010 where the favourites lost a brilliant quarter-final 3-2 to Algeria (also in this group). Didn't concede in their run to their final last year either.
@RussVernonRadio comments on Twitter: Cote d'Ivoire to win 3-0 v Togo my prediction. - Bold, but they're a third of the way there!
Nimbombe does superbly well to race forward, it's crossed at the edge of the area by Djene who advances well before being headed away first-time by Kolo Toure. The Sparrow Hawks are pressing.
Fouls becoming more prevalent at the moment as yet another free-kick is dished out. You might remember last night in the Ethiopia - Zambia game, the number of fouls there.
Tiene under pressure from Mamah as he strives to clear the ball. The left-back has not played at PSG this season after being frozen out by Carlo Ancelotti - who prefers Maxwell and Sylvain Armand.
Really is a sparse crowd out there in Rustenberg. Attendances at this year's AFCON have been higher than last year, but that's only because of the opening game held at Soccer City. Not quite World Cup-esque euphoria out there.
@Tamuno1995 comments: Ivory Coast 4 v Togo 1 prediction. Get involved via Twitter to @mohammedali_93.
Adebayor slightly isolated at the moment, as he chases a loose ball. Can't get to it in time, and it's a goal-kick. Ivory Coast very comfortable on the ball since they've taken the lead.
Gradel's corner is hit with too much power, as Agassa distributes the play. Ayite, racing forward attempts to find Gakpe on the edge of the area. Might be the wind, but it's hit wide.
Romao's header is short, as Ya Konan - in the attacking midfielder role, locates Gervinho on the right. Cross in headed away by Bossou as he searched for Drogba. Ultimately, it's a corner.
GAKPE! Oh wow, what a shot. And it's just breezed wide. Didn't expect that at all. Cuts in off the left past Bamba, and a sizzling shot just flies wide.
Lovely play from Drogba who tees up Gervinho. Pass is tad overhit, and the Arsenal winger can't chase it in time before it's hoofed away by Agassa.
It's particularly a shame for coach Didier Six after the Sparrow Hawks started brightly. They've not been able to replicate that at the minute as Romao ploughs forward. Picked off by Tiene.
Gakpe races down the left as they attempt to drag themselves back into the match. Deflected away by Eboue. Free-kick awarded to Djene under pressure from Gervinho. A real open game, already.
Corner to the Elephants. Gervinho, sometimes criticised at Arsenal, but so far electric in the opening ten minutes wins a corner off Nibombe. Driven in by Gradel, it's headed by Bamba after Agassa missed it. Free-kick after infringement on the goalkeeper.
Well, the first real chance for the Ivory Coast, and we have a goal. Adebayor's miss just a minute in is something that they'll be ring already. Fantastic resolve from the Ivorians.
Goal Yaya Touré
GOAL! IVORY COAST TAKE THE LEAD! Gervinho dazzles as he gets past Djene the left-back. Dragged back towards Yaya Toure, who powerfully fires past Agassa - via a deflection. Lamouchi's men are ahead!
Offside for Ayite after another ball deep from midfield. Agassa retrieves the ball after Ivory Coast attempted to break. Gervinho takes on a marker on the left.
Amewou chases down a squared ball, but the Elephants hold their own as they attempt to relieve pressure at the back. Gervinho on the ball, and he's seeking out an opportunity through the middle.
Ivory Coast have not settled yet, as Akakpo launches a pass in towards Gakpe, but he is reprimanded for a push on Bamba. Togo will still be smarting from that miss.
ADEBAYOR! What an opportunity, and they've wasted it! A brilliant start from Togo who capitalise on a slip-up from Kolo Toure. It's one v one against Copa, and the Tottenham star attempts to round the goalkeeper, Toure races back, and holds him off.
@Bola4Gov tweets in: Ivory Coast 3-0 Togo!!! - A very comfortable win predicted there. We're on Match 7 of 32, with five of the first six games ending in draws!
Referee Neant Alioum of Cameroon blows his whistle, and we are underway in the final group! Ivory Coast in their orange strip, Togo in their green, and it's Togo who start - attacking from right to left.
Note: Former Tottenham star Didier Zokora is wearing "Maestro" his nickname on the back of his shirt. Weird one. How he got away with that is anyone's guess.
Captains Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Adebayor relay a message to the crowd in French ahead of the kick-off, which is moments away. About less than 6,000 fans inside the 42,000 seat stadium.
And now the national anthems, starting with the Ivory Coast.
A very sparse crowd at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, site of England's 1-1 draw with the USA - and that Robert Green clanger at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The only community owned stadium in this tournament. The teams emerge.
Nimely Jappah comments: Vive les Elephants - don't forget to get involved. Send your tweets to @mohammedali_93.
TEAM NEWS Didier Ya Konan is handed a start in Rustenburg by Lamouchi, with Max Gradel and Gervinho either side of talisman and captain Didier Drogba. Otherwise, the Elephants are as expected. Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa, initially left out of the squad, is back as is Adebayor. Floyd Ayite and Alaixys Romao are the well known faces in this squad.
TOGO: Kossi Agassa; Nibombe, Akakpo, Mamah, Amewou, Bossou, Ayite, Romao, Gakpe, Djene, Adebayor
IVORY COAST: Copa Barry; Eboue, K Toure, Bamba, Tiene; Zokora, Y Toure; Gervinho, Ya Konan, Gradel; Drogba
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
While, Didier Six is wary of the threats his side face today. "We are not afraid of these big teams. This group is difficult, but we have a new generation that want to make a name for itself. There is everything to gain and nothing to lose."
Sabri Lamouchi is optimistic about his side's chances: "We can't wait to get going, we're preparing for that. There's a bit of the good kind of pressure. Even if we appear calm, we are working"
As with DR Congo, Togo's build-up to the tournament was overshadowed by off the field problems, with the Sparrow Hawks involved in a mess surrounding Tottenham striker, and Togo talisman Emmanuel Adebayor joining up with the team. He is here in Rustenburg this afternoon, and set to start.
Togo meanwhile feature in their first AFCON encounter since that horrific attack in Cabinda almost three years ago. Subsequently banned for quitting Angola after the attack on their convoy in 2010, Didier Six's team were handed a reprieve, and qualified for the first time since 2006, and six overall.
Today, the Elephants get their campaign underway against Togo as serious favourites to progress ahead of Tunisia and Algeria, who knocked them out in a thrilling quarter-final in 2010. Indeed, Lamouchi's men will want to better their recent results - runners-up in 2006 against Egypt, as well as fourth place in 2008 and a further silver medal in 2012.
Nevertheless, Sabri Lamouchi's side will be wary of last year's stunning capitulation in Libreville. A superb Elephants side succumbed to Zambia on a night of destiny and colour as the Chipolopolo won in the 2012 final on penalties after a mammoth shootout. That side breezed through their group stages, before putting hosts Equatorial Guinea and Mali to the wayside. In fact, Ivory Coast have NOT conceded a goal at the finals since 2010 in Angola.
Another Africa Cup of Nations, and another glimmer of hope for the Ivory Coast to add a continental title for their supposed golden generation. With a plethora of stars ranging from Champions League hero Didier Drogba, Premier League champions Yaya and Kolo Toure, as well as European stars in Gervinho, Salomon Kalou and Cheikh Tiote, you would think that they are primed to win their first African title since 1992.
First of all, let me introduce myself. I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be guiding you through today's events for the next two hours. Don't forget to use Twitter to send us your predictions, musings and comments and tell me what you think throughout the 90 minutes to @mohammedali_93. Get involved!
Good afternoon, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! text commentary from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations! Favourites Ivory Coast get their AFCON campaign underway in a 'group of death' against Togo at the beautiful Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg. Team news shortly.
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