The Elephants of La Cote d’Ivoire began their campaign for a second trophy in four years on a bright note after beating South Africa’s Bafana Bafana 1-0 in Group D of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Jonathan Kodjia’s strike in the 64th minute separated the two sides at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo, Egypt on Monday.
It was a must-win encounter for both sides as Morocco had picked maximum points from Namibia in the first game of the group played on Sunday.
The two-time champions made their intentions known as they dominated play in the first few minutes.
A begging chance for Kodjia saw the striker sting the palms of Ronwen Williams, who saved the 1996 champions from conceding early in the game.
Though the first half ended goalless, Kodjia made amends when he scored almost 20 minutes into the second half.
The South Africans, however, shaded possession 56-44 despite having no shots on target.
The opening day winners in the group – Morocco and Senegal – will face each other on Friday while South Africa and Namibia also face off later that day.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana