Ivory Coast, Togo draw blanks in dour Group C opener

Ivory Coast, Togo draw blanks in dour Group C opener

Defending champions Ivory Coast and Togo drew 0-0 in their opening Group C match at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

Jonathan Kodjia’s toe-poke was well stopped at close range by Togo goalkeeper Kossi Agassa.

At the other end Sylvain Gbohouo rushed out of his goal to save smartly at the feet of Mathieu Dossevi.

Late on, Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier headed wide from an unmarked position in a rare clear-cut chance.

Neither side found their fluency and even from early on the game had the look of a stalemate – the fourth in five games at the finals.

Wilfried Zaha, making his competitive debut for Ivory Coast after switching international allegiance from England, looked just about the liveliest player on show.

Switching wings regularly, he cut in off the right to send a shot just over and later ended a good run from the left with an effort that was well blocked.

Both sides were guilty of wasting numerous set-piece opportunities. Togo’s corners left a lot to be desired, while Ivory Coast fared no better from a series of free-kicks.

Aurier should have snatched a winner for the Elephants but nodded wide from six yards.

-Report by the BBC/bbc.co.uk/sports