AFCON 2023: Host Côte d’Ivoire beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in opener

Seko Fofana fires in the first goal of the tournament. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images
The second half resumed with Guinea-Bissau trying to maintain composure and control the ball.

Seko Fofana scored the first goal of the 34th African Cup of Nations (AFCON) as the host nation, the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire, defeated Wild Dogs of Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in the opening match of the tournament at the Allasane Ouatara Olympic stadium on Saturday.

The host nation, Côte d’Ivoire, took the lead almost early in the game after Al Nassr midfielder Seko Fofana put the Ivorians upfront only four minutes into the opening game.

Half an hour later, he almost doubled the lead for the hosts, but his effort inside the 18-yard box struck the crossbar. Another opportunity came for Jean Krasso two minutes later, but the forward’s shot was blocked.

Côte d’Ivoire could have gone three-nil up before the halftime break, but Krasso missed a clear chance inside the box after going one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but he could not make the beautiful pass from Jonathan Bamba count.

The second half resumed with Guinea-Bissau trying to maintain composure and control the ball. They soon were given the opportunity to score an equaliser, but Carlos Mane’s corner kick was headed wide off the post by Opa Sangante.

Jean-Philippe Krasso celebrates scoring his Ivory Coast’s second goal. Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images

After missing the opportunities to score in the first half, Krasso doubled the lead for Côte d’Ivoire with a wonderful acrobatic kick inside the box and was soon substituted for Karim Kante.

In the 73rd minute, Guinea-Bissau had their best chance of the game after Mama Balde laid a thorough pass to Franculino Dju, but the left-footed shot from the defender was saved by goalkeeper Yahia Fofana from close range. 

At the end of the full-time whistle, the Elephants had been able to thump the Wild Dogs to secure the maximum points, a reward for the Ivorian supporters, who had been on the streets since daybreak.