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Holders Cote d'Ivoire held to goalless draw by Togo in group opener
Published in Ahram Online on 04 - 11 - 2017

Cote d'Ivoire were held to a 0-0 draw by Togo as they began the defence of their African Nations Cup title with an uninspiring display in the opening Group C game on Monday.
It was the fourth draw in the opening five games at this year's finals where none of the pre-tournament favourites have made an impact but will be a seen as a moral victory for Togo.
The Togolese are the outsiders in the group but looked the sharper of the two teams in attack although the game delivered just a handful of half chances.
Togo had the first real opportunity in the 24th minute but an over eager Floyd Ayite got in the way of team mate Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba, who then scuffed his shot.
A pass that was slipped through the Ivorian defence handed Mathieu Dossevi a chance on the half-hour but goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohou was quickly off his line to smother the ball.
Togo also had a handball appeal turned down just before halftime.
The Ivorians improved after the interval but could not break down Togo's well-ordered defensive lines.
Franck Kessie was brought down by Sadat Ouro-Akoriko on the edge of the Togo area after an hour, giving the holders prime position for a free kick, but Salomon Kalou, starting his sixth Nations Cup tournament, fired over the bar.
Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, who has changed his international allegiance from England to Cote d'Ivoire, made a mazy run before cutting inside but his 67th minute effort was blocked and he was replaced by Wilfried Bony soon after.
Togo's 32-year-old captain Emmanuel Adebayor, without a club since he left Palace at the end of last season, looked tired in the final 20 minutes due to a lack of match fitness but did set up Dossevi, who chipped the ball onto the roof of the net.
The best opportunity of the game fell to the Ivorians two minutes from the end when substitute Max Gradel's cross was headed narrowly wide by Serge Aurier.
The Democratic Republic of Congo and Morocco meet later on Monday in Oyem in the second Group C encounter.
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