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AFCON 2021: Max Gradel strikes as Ivory Coast edge Equatorial Guinea

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Former Leeds and Bournemouth forward Max-Alain Gradel scored the only goal in the game as Ivory Coast narrowly edged resilient Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in their Africa Cup of Nations opener.

The skipper (Gradel) sent Ivory Coast into an early lead with a long range strike from 20 yards, just five minutes into the game.

However, the Equatorial Guinea players and technical team protested against Gradel’s opener in Douala, appealing for a foul on their player Jose Machin but referee Redouane Jiyed confirmed the goal would stand with VAR assistance.

The Ivorians who started life at this year’s tournament without their first-choice custodian Sylvain Gbohouo who was banned 24 hours before their opener on alleged doping, named Badra as his replacement.

Ivory Coast will face Sierra Leone in their next game on Sunday, whilst Equatorial Guinea lock horns with Algeria later that evening.

 

 

 

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