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Ivory Coast beat Olympic Eagles in U23 AFCON opener

Ivory Coast beat Olympic Eagles in U23 AFCON opener
November 09
21:08 2019

Silas Gnaka scored the only goal as the Ivory Coast beat Nigeria, the defending champions, 1-0 to begin the 2019 U23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on a positive note.

The utility player scored albeit a controversial moment from the penalty spot after defender Harold Ndah was sent off for a hauling down Christian Kouame in the box.

Cote d’Ivoire had been wasteful with Youssouf Dao and Gnaka both missing good opportunities when well placed.

The Olympic Eagles will be looking to bounce back when they face Zambia in their second group B game on Tuesday.


Nigeria struggled in the first half against the Young Elephants and failed to create clear cut openings in the game.

Kouame posed a constant threat upfront but Dao scuffed a good chance wide at the near post when he failed to connect properly.

Orji Okwonkwo came close when his header from Kelechi Nwakali’s delivery hit the woodwork before Nwakali wasted a good chance when he was indecisive in front of goal.


The Eagles pressed further in the game with Sunday Faleye and Sunusi having their own share of chances on goal.

However, a moment of controversy settled the match. After Ndah was sent off for a second bookable offence, the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty.

Goalkeeper Abubakar Adamu got his right hand to Gnaka’s spot kick and it looked like yet to cross the line. The referee gave the goal to Ivory Coast much to the frustration of the Olympic Eagles.


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