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2015 Africa Nations Cup, Group Stage 2015
  • Seydou Doumbia (72')
  • Gervinho (58')
  • Mohamed Yattara (36')

Ivory Coast salvage draw against Guinea in African Nations Cup

Ivory Coast had to settle for a point in their opening African Nations Cup Group D match after they drew 1-1 with Guinea and finished the game with 10 men.

Mohamed Yattara stunned Ivory Coast, who are ranked Africa's third-best side behind Algeria and Tunisia, with his 36th-minute volley before the favourites saw striker Gervinho sent off for hitting Naby Keita in the face.

Second-half substitute Seydou Doumbia gave the subdued crowd something to cheer about with his 72nd-minute equaliser, but with a man down, Ivory Coast were unable to go on and claim the win.

Ivory Coast boasted Premier League stars Wilfried Bony, Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure, Cheick Tiote, Roma striker Gervinho and former Chelsea frontman Salomon Kalou in their starting line-up and were expected to claim a comfortable victory against Guinea.

However, they fell behind in the 36th minute following Yattara's volley from the left of the area which caught their defence off guard.

Gervinho was sent off for hitting Guinea midfielder Keita in the face in a moment of madness in the 58th minute.

The Ivory Coast striker fell to the ground and hit the floor in disbelief after being shown a straight red card, which left his side with an even tougher task to overturn Guinea's lead.

Until that point, Gervinho had been Ivory Coast's biggest threat thanks to his pace.

He put Guinea under pressure early on when he raced down the left on the counter-attack and pulled the ball inside. It was played back to him in a one-two but his shot struck the crossbar and was cleared by the Guinea defence.

The former Arsenal striker went close again from inside the six-yard box shortly after only to be shut down by Guinea goalkeeper Naby-Moussa Yattara .

Gervinho was again on hand to receive the ball in a dangerous area in the 34th minute but Naby-Moussa Yattara got down to make an excellent save from close range.

Guinea then stunned Ivory Coast as Mohamed Yattara scored two minutes later after the favourites failed to close him down in defence.

The Lyon striker volleyed the ball past Sylvain Gbohouo from 12 yards to put Guinea ahead and silence the crowd.

Bony went close to finding the equaliser early in the second half after he received the ball on the left of the box and with an instinctive movement turned and pulled the trigger, only for his shot to be put over the bar thanks to a hand from Naby-Moussa Yattara.

Yaya Toure delivered the resulting corner and the Guinea defence scrambled the ball away before the Manchester City midfielder tried a shot from just outside of the box in the 55th minute after linking up with Gervinho but dragged his effort wide.

Soon after, Ivory Coast were correctly reduced to 10 men when Gervinho foolishly lashed out and struck Keita in the face and the back of his head in an off-the-ball clash, seemingly suggesting that the Guinea midfielder had stood on his foot.

Ivory Coast got back on level terms, though, in the 72nd minute when Yaya Toure found Bony on the edge of the box, who chested the ball down and set up substitute Doumbia.

The CSKA Moscow striker slid the ball into the bottom left corner from the middle of the box to level the match with just over 15 minutes left to play.

However, despite creating more chances, Ivory Coast were unable to find the winner, with the match instead going down as a missed opportunity.