A goal and a goal assist each saw both Gervinho and Yaya Toure seal victory for Cote d’Ivoire in their first Group D match of the 2013 African Cup of Nations.
Yaya Toure scored early in the first half and Gervinho late in the second to see the Elephants pick up the first three points in the ‘Group of Death’ after beating Togo 2-1 at the Royal Bafokeng stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
It was not the best overall display from Cote d’Ivoire, but despite some poor passing in the first 45 and some sloppy defending, they managed to pull it together in the second 45 and grind out only the second win of the AFCON competition thus far.
The Elephants started a little shaky and a mistake by Kolo Toure in the third minute saw Emmanuel Adebayor through on goal and with just the keeper to beat, but he squandered the chance as he failed to round the keeper.
Five minutes later and the Elephants punished Togo for that missed chance when Yaya Toure gave them the lead with a deflected shot from 16-yards out after being set-up by Gervinho, 1-0.
Togo definitely saw more of the ball after that, but they struggled to breach the Cote d’Ivoire defence and shot from long range with very little luck.
In the 44th minute Ivory Coast were unlucky not to double their lead when Yaya Toure struck the right hand post from a similar position to where he scored his first goal.
Then two minutes into added time at the end of the half, the Elephants defence went to sleep at a corner-kick as a low cross made its way past the front post to an unmarked Jonathan Ayite who sided-footed the ball home from six-yards out to level matters at 1-1 going into the half time break.
The second half saw Cote d’Ivoire controlling the possession stakes and controlling play on the field, but for all their possession they were unable to create a decent scoring opportunity until the 88th minute when Gervinho stole the win for the Elephants.
Yaya Toure delivered a right sided set-piece deep into the box and Gervinho was at the back post with a clinical finish with the outside of his boot from a tight angle to give the Elephants the win, 2-1.