By Prince Dulzy
Defending champions Ivory Coast kicked off their defence for the afcon title with a disappointing 0-0 draw against Togo in their Group C match on Monday in Gabonese town Oyem.
A well-deserved goalless draw for Togo who played their hearts out in search for a win but ended in a draw which will increase their own chances of progressing from Group B.
The Sparrow Hawks still relying on their experience captain Emmanuel Adebayor, who was their main man up front, but failed to pose any threat to Ivory Coast – the striker has been clubless since departing from Crystal Place last season so at least one will understand the lack of fitness.
Ivory Coast was not at their best despite fielding a strong side that included the likes of Manchester United defender Eric Bailly, PSG’s Serge Aurier, ex-Chelsea Salomon Kalou and off-course debutant and Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha.
The Elephants could not find a way past a stubborn Togo defence. Both sides had their own chances but failed to utilise them. Ivory Coast came close to the opening goal but Togo goalkeeper Kossia Agassa denied Jonathan Kodija from scoring.
Debutant Wilfred Zaha was admirable and even came close to scoring for the Elephants but his fierce effort was saved by the goalkeeper.
The greatest chance came in the last minutes when Serge Aurier being unmarked fluffed the chance to win the game for Ivory Coast with a header that went just inches off the post.
Ivory Coast’s next game is against DR Congo on Friday, with Togo also playing on the same day against Morocco.
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