Result: Wilfried Bony, Gervinho stun Japan

Two goals in as many minutes from Wilfried Bony and Gervinho help Ivory Coast to a 2-1 win over Japan in Recife.

Ivory Coast hit two second-half goals in as many minutes to stun Japan and win their World Cup opener in Recife this morning.

Keisuke Honda's first-half strike had proved the difference between the sides in the Group C clash up until the 65-minute mark, but quickfire headers from Wilfried Bony and Gervinho turned the game on its head as the Elephants began their tournament with a win.

Gervinho of the Ivory Coast celebrates scoring his team's second goal with teammate Didier Drogba during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match between the Ivory Coast and Japan at Arena Pernambuco on June 14, 2014© Getty Images

Buoyed by the inclusion of Yaya Toure - who captained the team in the absence of benched Didier Drogba - Sabri Lamouchi's side started brighter and nearly took a sixth-minute lead through Bony, whose effort deflected narrowly wide.

The Blue Samurai slowly grew into the clash and saw their improvement rewarded on 16 minutes, as Honda's fiercely-struck shot left Barry with no chance.

:Japan's forward Keisuke Honda celebrates after scoring during a Group C football match between Ivory Coast and Japan at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14, 2014© Getty Images

It could, and perhaps should, have been two just minutes later as wing-back Atsuto Uchida fended off two challenges but fired straight at Barry from a good position.

Ivory Coast emerged from the break the better of both sides but it was not until midway through the half when their dominance saw tangible reward, as Bony's glancing header put the African nation back on level terms.

Wilfried Bony of the Ivory Coast celebrates scoring his team's first goal with Didier Drogba as goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima of Japan reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match between the Ivory Coast and Japan at Arena Pernambuco on June© Getty Images

The comeback was complete minutes later, as Gervinho headed Serge Aurier's cross past Eiji Kawashima, who got two firm hands on the ball but could not prevent it from crossing the line.

Shell-shocked Japan struggled to forge the opportunities necessary to level matters, as Ivory Coast held on to seal the win and boost their prospects of progressing from a World Cup group stage for the first time in their history.

Ivory Coast national team pose prior to the start of a Group C football match between Ivory Coast and Japan at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14, 2014
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