Live Commentary: Ivory Coast 2-1 Togo - as it happened

Live Commentary: Ivory Coast 2-1 Togo - as it happened
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Live text coverage of Ivory Coast's opening Africa Cup of Nations match against Togo.

Ivory Coast needed a late goal from Gervinho to get their Africa Cup of Nations campaign off to a winning start against Togo this afternoon.

Yaya Toure broke the deadlock after eight minutes with a deflected shot from just inside the penalty area, but Togo equalised just before half time through Jonathan Ayite.

Togo looked to have earned a draw, before a free kick allowed the Arsenal striker to slot in the winner.

Read how all the action unfolded below:

2.30pmGood afternoon. With half an hour to kickoff, let's start with a look at the team sheets.

2.33pmIvory Coast starting XI: Barry, Eboue, Kolo Toure, Bamba, Tiene, Zokora, Yaya Toure, Gradel, Ya Konen, Gervinho, Drogba

2.35pmTogo starting XI: Agassa, Nibombe, Akakpo, Mamah, Amewou, Bossou, Ayite, Ramao, Gakpe, Djene, Adebayor

2.36pmStrong lineups from both sides. Ivory Coast will be led by former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, with Arsenal's Gervinho partnering the captain up front.

2.39pmThe big news for Togo is the inclusion of Emmanuel Adebayor. The Tottenham striker joined up with the team late, but coach Didier Six has decided that the 28-year-old is ready to go.

2.41pmAhead of the game, Six told BBC Sport: We are not afraid of these big teams. This group is difficult, but we have a new generation that want to make a name for itself. There is everything to gain and nothing to lose."

2.42pmIvory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi said: "We can't wait to get going, we're preparing for that. There's a bit of the good kind of pressure.

"Even if we appear calm, we are working daily. We know there is an expectation for the players at the tournament."

2.44pmIvory Coast are considered favourites for the tournament, having narrowly missed out in a penalty shootout in the final last year.

2.45pmThe Elephants have won the Cup on once, being crowned champions in 1992. Togo have made six appearance in the competition, but have never made the final.

2.48pmAdebayor isn't the only big name in the Togo squad. Fans of France's Ligue 1 will recognise the likes of Serge Gakpe, who plays for Nantes, Lille's Kalen Damessi, and the Ayite brothers, Floyd and Jonathan, with Jonathan getting the nod for today's game.

2.52pmTogo's most recent friendly saw them beat Morocco 1-0, while Ivory Coast beat Egypt 4-2 last Monday.

2.54pmThe teams are in the tunnel ready to head out on to the pitch. Adebayor and Drogba exchange high-fives as they line up against each other.

2.55pmThere's not the biggest crowd in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenberg yet, hopefully a few more will filter in as the game gets underway. The national anthems of both nations are being played ahead of kickoff.

2.58pmDrogba and Adebayor read the fair play pledge to the crowd before the game starts, promising to play in the correct spirit and without discrimination.

2.59pmWith the formalities over, the players get into their formations and ready to start the game.

0 minTogo kick off the first half.

2 minCHANCE! Kolo Toure messes up a back pass to Boubacar Barry Copa and Emmanuel Adebayor is in on goal, but the Ivorian keeper just get a hand to the ball to save his defender's blushes.

4 minIt's been a bright start for Togo. The Hawks have been passing the ball easily around the midfield, just looking to keep possession and build some confidence.

6 minIvory Coast are on the attack for the first time. Adebayor fouls Gervinho to give the Ivory Coast a free kick, but Togo get the ball back.

8 minGOAL! Ivory Coast 1-0 Togo (Yaya Toure)

8 minThe Ivorians get the ball in midfield and press towards the box. Gervinho powers down the wing before crossing to Yaya Toure, who fires the ball in to the net. It takes a big of a deflection, but it will be given to Toure.

10 minTogo started this game well but the goal seems to have shaken them, and allowed Ivory Coast to dominate. The Elephants get a corner. Agassa takes a catch and is deemed to get fouled in the process, giving the Hawks a free kick.

11 minDidier Zokora is brought near the sideline to give the Ivory Coast a free kick. The Ivorians are well on top at the minute.

13 minTogo get the ball back and look to press towards the Ivory Coast goal, but they lose the ball, and a long pass finds Gervinho on the edge of the Togo penalty box, but the Arsenal striker can't control the ball in time, and it's taken by Agassa.

15 minCHANCE! Serge Gakpe takes a shot from 30+ yards, and hit it wonderfully. It goes wide in the end but it wasn't far out. That'll keep Barry on his toes in the Ivory Coast goal.

16 minMax-Alain Gradel tries to cross in to the box, where he has plenty of teammates waiting, but Togo put the ball behind for a corner. Agassa comfortably takes the ball from the corner kick, and sends Togo on the counter-attack.

18 minAdebayor gains a couple of yards on Kolo Toure as he looks for a shot, but he ends up with a throw in for Togo, and the Hawks are looking threatening here.

21 minGakpe goes for another shot from range, this time just outside the penalty area are being set up by Adebayor. Once again he's off target, but he looks a threat for Togo.

24 minTogo continue to press, Adebayor beating Eboue at the corner flag to set up another chance, but none of his teammates is clear, and the Ivory Coast clear the ball.

26 minIvory Coast take the ball back towards the Togo goal, with Gradel winning a throw-in near the 18-yard line. The throw-in comes to nothing, and Adebayor is straight on the counter-attack with a blistering run down the sideline.

27 minAdebayor is leading by example in the early stages of this match. The Togo captain has too much pace for Toure and Eboue to cope with. By contrast, the Ivorian captain, Drogba, has been fairly anonymous so far.

28 minGervinho takes a knock and needs some treatment, he doesn't look too pained and seems alright to continue.

29 minVincent Bossou getting a bit physical in his approach to marking Drogba. The big centre-back has done well against the captain so far, but will have to be careful not to attract the attention of the referee.

31 minGakpe and Kolo Toure collide on the edge of the penalty area as the Togo striker looks for another shot. Toure is penalised for the challenge, conceding a free kick. Gakpe takes the kick, but the ball dips a little too late, and his effort soars high of the crossbar.

32 minAside from a couple of minutes after the Yaya Toure goal, Togo have been impressive so far, easily keeping possession and creating the most chances. If they carry on like this it will only be a matter of time before they equalise.

32 minCHANCE! Jonathan Ayite takes a strike for Togo from just inside the area. Barry gets down low to make a solid save.

33 minBOOKING! Gradel is the first name in the book after leaving the field without the referee's permission.

34 minBOOKING! Bossou soon follows for an over-enthusiastic sliding tackle. He'll have to careful for the rest of the match.

35 minKolo Toure has been clumsy so far. Having almost gifted Adebayor an early goal, the Manchester City defender concedes another free kick, this time for fouling Alaixys Romao. Adebayor asks why the defender hasn't been booked yet.

37 minBossou and Drogba come together again, this time the Ivorian captain catching the Togo defender as they both go for the same ball with their heads.

38 minA long pass aimed for Ayite is floated in towards the Ivory Coast penalty area. Barry comes a long way to make the clearance, and is furious with his defenders for not dealing with the danger sooner.

39 minEboue passes to Gervinho who crosses the ball into the box, where there's plenty of support, but Agassa is ready and gets his body behind the ball.

40 minTogo immediately counter, and Adebayor gets the ball inside the box. He has a brace of defenders for company, and hesitates in taking his shot, allowing them to get the ball away.

42 minMamah and Nibombe are pressing further down the pitch as Togo press for an equaliser before the break. Ivory Coast dispossess them and Gervinho takes the ball down the other end.

44 minCHANCE! Gervinho slides the ball to Didier Drogba, but Togo have plenty of players back to put the ball out for a corner before Drogba can strike. The corner falls to Gradel who sets up Yaya Toure, but he's denied his second goal by the post. An aggressive finish to the first half by the Elephants.

45 minTwo minutes of stoppage time.

45+2 minGOAL! Ivory Coast 1-1 Togo (Ayite)

45+2 minA foul on Romao gives Togo a free kick, which goes out for a corner. The corner curls to Jonathan Ayite, who climbs high to strike the ball in mid-air beyond Barry.

45+2 minHALF-TIME: Ivory Coast 1-1 Togo

3.51pmTogo end the half with a thoroughly-deserved equaliser. They've kept the top ranked side in the tournament on their toes throughout the opening 45 minutes, and are good value for at least a point from this game.

3.53pmEmmanuel Adebayor and Serge Gakpe have been the stars of the show so far for the Hawks. The Spurs striker has shown more pace than the Ivory Coast defenders have been able to handle, while Gakpe has taken on some ambitious distance shots.

3.54pmGervinho and Yaya Toure have both been impressive for the Ivory Coast. Toure gave the Elephants the lead, and would have had another but for the upright.

3.55pmHowever, while Yaya Toure has shone, his brother has been less than impressive. Kolo Toure almost gifted Togo a lead inside the opening two minutes, being caught out by Adebayor while making a back pass.

3.57pmLet's have a quick look at the stats from the first half. The sides shared the possession 50-50. Togo had seven shots to Ivory Coast's six, and each side saw a player go in the book.

3.58pmDon't be surprised if Vincent Bossou if an early change for Togo in this match. The defender has kept Didier Drogba quiet throughout the first half, but he was shown a yellow card and continued to get physical with the Ivory Coast captain. Didier Six may be keen to take him off while he still has the choice.

4.01pmIn last year's tournament, Ivory Coast made it to the final without conceding a single goal, but have lost the chance to repeat that inside their first half in this year's tournament. They may be looking to make some defensive changes after the break, to try to take the sting out of Togo's attack.

45 minThe players are back out on the pitch, and Ivory Coast get the second half underway.

47 minBOOKING! Aleixys Romao hacks down Gervinho while the Arsenal man charges through the midfield, resulting in a yellow card for the Togo player.

48 minDrogba takes a free kick from 35 yards. He was quiet in the first half and didn't get many sighters. It shows, as his shot goes well high.

49 minCHANCE! A brilliant pass from Yaya Toure finds Gervinho, who pases out wide to Tiene. The defender sets up Drogba, but his shot is stopped by Agassa, who looked sharp in goal during the first half.

51 minTiene attempts another cross but it's taken by Agassa before it finds its target. It's been an attacking start by the Ivory Coast.

52 minTiene is sent to sideline by the ref as the tape on his socks is not the same colour as the socks. The Ivory Coast kit man is prepared though, he uses spray paint to turn the white tape orange.

53 minDrogba is in on goal by the referee blows for offside before he takes a shot. The captain has already been more involved in this half than in the entire first 45 minutes.

54 minCHANCE! On the counter attack, Gakpe surges in to the Ivorian penalty area, and his shot goes just wide.

56 minCHANCE! Yaya Toure sends in a stunning pass to Didier Ya Konen, who gets away a powerful, low shot. Agassa was ready though, and got down to make the save with his legs.

58 minGakpe brings down Eboue just outside the penalty area to concede a free kick. Eboue is walking a little awkwardly following the challenge. Tiene takes the free kick, but it's blocked by the wall. Togo are immediately on the counter, and force a corner.

59 minSUBSTITUTION! Max Gradel has gone off and Salomon Kalou comes on.

60 minA bit of controversy and confusion. Togo take their corner, and Gakpe heads in for a goal, but Ivory Coast were still making their change, and the ref makes them retake the corner.

61 minBOOKING! Dare Nibombe is yellow carded for a nasty challenge on Yaya Toure, raking his studs down his opponent's leg.

62 minSUBSTITUTION! Serge Gakpe has gone off, Floyd Ayite replacing him.

63 minSUBSTITUTION! Newcastle's Cheikh Tiote is brought on in place of Didier Ya Konen

64 minTiote's first involvement is a mid-air challenge with Jonathan Ayite, catching the Togo striker with a flailing arm.

65 minAmewou concedes a free kick by dragging Drogba down by his shirt. The Ivory Coast captain takes the free kick, but once again the Togo wall holds up, and they surge down the field.

67 minKalou breaks down the wing for the Ivory Coast, but his cross in to the box is headed away.

69 minKalou and Yaya Toure team up on the edge of the box, but Togo's back four hold strong and clear yet again. The ball is taken straight down the other end, where Togo win a corner.

70 minFloyd Ayite takes the corner, and it's eventually cleared by Drogba. The Ivory Coast take the ball straight down the other end of the pitch, but a long pass to Gervinho is too pacy, as goes behind for a goal kick.

71 minDrogba looks to get a cross in to the box, but some great defending forces the Ivorian captain to put the ball behind for another goal kick.

73 minIvory Coast are awarded a corner, which falls to Yaya Toure, who heads off target but Drogba keeps the ball in play. Toure gets a second chance moments later but his strike is stopped by Agassa.

74 minSUBSTITUTION! Drogba is off, he's really had very little impact on the game. He's replaced by 24-year-old Wilfried Bony, who plays for Eredivisie club Vitesse Arnhem.

75 minCHANCE! Gervinho crosses to Yaya Toure, but once again the Manchester City player sees his shot taken cleanly by Agassa. The Togo keeper has been fantastic throughout the game.

76 minIvory Coast are really on the attack now, setting up camp just outside the Togo penalty area, but they can't penetrate their defence, with the back four easily clearing several attempts from Kalou and Tiote.

78 minSUBSTITUTION! Togo's goalscorer Jonathan Ayite is replaced by Kossi Segbefia in the final change of the game.

79 minThe change sees Togo switch to a very defensive formation, with Adebayor as the lone striker. It's clear they'll happily take the draw, but the Ivory Coast are pressing for a win.

81 minKalou hits the ground on the edge of the penalty area, but fails to get the free kick he'd hopes for, and Togo go on the counter attack, but Ivory Coast quickly stub out the move and head back towards the Togo penalty area, Wilfried Bony getting a shot away.

82 minWe're inside the last 10 minute. Ivory Coast look the most likely to get a winner at the moment, with Togo not committing many players up front, it's all about preventing a second Ivorian goal for the Hawks.

84 minAdebayor and Ayite team up to take the ball towards the Ivory Coast penalty area. A foul gives Togo a free kick to the right of the goal, Tiene bringing down Segbefia.

85 minSegbefia's free kick falls dangerously, and Sol Bamba head out to concede a corner.

87 minVincent Bossou gets the strike, but it's deflected over. A second corner is dealt with by the Ivory Coast and they head back down the field in search of a winner.

88 minGOAL! Ivory Coast 2-1 Togo (Gervinho)

89 minA curling free kick falls to Gervinho, who catches the ball on the half volley to squeeze the it past Agassa from a tight angle.

90+1 minIvory Coast are on the attack again, Gervinho finding Eboue, but there's no-one further up the pitch, and the Elephants are happy to just keep possession and eat up some time.

90+2 minThere are four minutes of stoppage time, but it doesn't look like it will be enough time for Togo to find another equaliser.

90+3 minTogo are closing in on the Ivory Coast goal, but the Ivorians have plenty of players back as they defend their lead. Ayite tries a cross but it's cleared.

90+4 minCHANCE! Adebayor flicks the ball forward to Ayite, whose header goes agonisingly wide, but Togo are awarded a corner. However, it's cleared by Ivory Coast, and the four minutes are up.

90+4 minFULL-TIME: Ivory Coast 2-1 Togo

4.54pmThe pre-tournament favourites have opened their campaign with a win, but they were made to work hard for it, needing a late winner from Arsenal's Gervinho to secure the win.

4.55pmTogo will feel hard done by to come away from the game with nothing. The nullified the threat of Drogba and were brilliant on the counter attack.

4.56pmAdebayor will be haunted by a miss inside the opening two minutes, while keeper Agassa will wish he had done better with Gervinho's goal. With games against Tunisia and Algeria to come, it could be a costly loss for Togo in one of the tougher groups in the tournament.

4.58pmWell that's all from this game. Join us again from 5.30pm for build-up to the other Group D game between Algeria and Tunisia, with updates throughout the match. Until then, thanks for joining me this afternoon, good bye.

Didier Drogba
Read Next:
Africa Cup of Nations preview: Ivory Coast
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