A 10-man Cote D’Ivoire squad eked out a tie against Guinea Tuesday, hamstrung by a red card for Gervinho whose booking will leave him out of the next match.
Les Elephants are consistently ranked one of Africa’s top squads, and many fans were hoping theAfrica Cup redemption after last summer’s disastrous World Cup outing.
Guinea scored first, however, with Mohamed Yattara knocking a left-footed shot to the top-left corner in the 36th minute.
The AS Roma forward got into trouble in the 58th minute during a scrap in the Guinean box with Naby Keita. It wasn’t clear what set Gervinho off, but frustrations were clearly building for Les Elephants.
Fortunately for Les Elephants, Seydou Doumbia took a deft assist from Wilfried Bony in the 72nd minute, and hit a right-footed shot to the bottom left corner to tie the match.
In the other Group D match, Mali and Cameroon battled to a draw, with Ambroise Oyongo hitting a goal in the 84th minute for the Indomitable Lions.
Malian forward Sambou Yatabaré put his side ahead early on, after collecting a headed pass from Molla Wague and hitting center netting from a low angle.