Ivory Coast v Guinea: Africa Cup of Nations 2015 – as it happened

Gervinho sent off but Ivorians come from behind to share points with underdogs

An entertaining, slightly curious game that leaves both sides with satisfaction and regrets. Guinea were valiant and often slick; they scored a lovely goal and carried a threat throughout but will lament the fact that they could not score a second after Gervinho was sent off. Ivory Coast can congratulate themselves for their comeback - particularly as the equaliser was so good - but will face familiar accusations of failing to harness their full potential. A shrewd change by Herve Renard perhaps helped them improve after Gervinho’s dismissal. They will need to improve again if they are to get past Cameroon and Mali in their next games.

90+1 min: There will be at least two more more minutes according to the fourth official. Mind you, by the way he has struggled to indicate the correct number when making substitutions, perhaps we should not take that for granted.

90 min: Constant hurtles down the left and then swings a cross towards the far post. Razzagui knocks it back into the danger zone but the keeper snaffles it before any Guinean can prod it into the net.

88 min: It’s all Guinea now, as Ivory Coast try to demonstrate the defensive fortitude they have frequently lacked in recent years.

85 min: Ivory Coast substitution: Renard is obviously not intimidated by reputation, unlike some recent Ivorian managers - he’s taking off Yaya, who doesn’t look best pleased. On comes Doukoure in his place. Looks like Renard wants to secure a point, at least.

83 min: Bailly rises superbly in the wall to head Constant’s 30-yard freekick behind for a corner. The defendfer then goes down to receive treatment for a sore head, so has to go off the pitch while Guinea take the corner, which could prove a serious loss. But it doesn’t, as Ivory Coast clear well.

80 min: A splendid tackle in the box by Kolo Toure thwarts Razzagui after Yaya had weakly lost possession.

79 min: Better from Guinea. Ivory Coast were threatening to overwhelm them despite being a man down, but Guinean are now taking the fight to their opponents again. Traore goes close with a swerving shot from 25 yards.

76 min: Keita gets a sniff of a shooting chance in an increasingly rare Guinean counter-attack - but Kolo Toure steps in authoritatively to put an end to his meddling and put Ivory Coast back on the front foot.

74 min: Ivory Coast are going for the jugular now. Aurier skins his man down the right and then fires a vicious ball to the neat post. Camara does superbly to divert it behind under pressure.

Finally the Ivorians show the quality we know they have: that’s a brilliant goal. Yaya created space for himself with a snappy shuffle in midfield and then clipped an artful pass to Bony, who took it down on his chest and then played it perfectly into the path of Doumbia. The substitute finished experrtly from 15 yards.

70 min: Guinea substitution: Yattara the goalscorer and all-round fine performer off, Razzagui Camara on.

67 min: Chaos in the Guinean box as Yattara makes a spectacular but not particularly effective attempt to clear a cross. His intervention prevented the ball from reaching Bony, and his defenders frantically tidied up after him.

64 min: Renard’s pondering results in the following moves: Kalou and Die off, Seydou Doumbia and Siaka Tiene on.

63 min: Gbohuou does well to push away Traore’s freekick despitre pressure from Constant.

62 min: Renard was about to introduce Gradel before Gervinho was dismissed but he seems to have changed his mind and is now trying to come up with another plan: he’ll have to act quickly because Guine are threatening to put the game beyond Ivory Coast now. Tiote has just conceded a freekick on the edge of the box with the sort of wild tackle Newcastle fans have come to expect from him.

61 min: Guinea seek to compound Ivorian pain by increasing their lead - but Traore’s looping effort from 25 yards bounces out off the crossbar!

RED CARD! Oh Gervinho! Ivory Coast’s best player up till now has just been sent off for lashing out at Keita as the players waited for a corner to be taken. Keita may have provoked him - there are suggestions he trod on his toe - and Gervinho reacts to the ref’s decision by hurling himself to the ground and beating the grass with more force than he hit Keita. But he’s unlikely to get any sympathy from his manager.

55 min: Gervinho remains ubiquitous, and Yaya is becoming more visible. The pair combine just now in a dangerous move than ends with the City player spanking a shot wide from the edge of the area.

52 min: After an Ivorian corner is cleared, Guiean tear forward on the counter. Die clatters into Yattara. He’s late and he’s the last man ... but he escapes with a yellow card.

50 min: Oh Gervinho! The Roma winger was sent scampering into a box thanks to a quick freekick, but he dawdled before being dispossessed by Sankoh, who has had a very solid game so far.

48 min: Yaya seems to have advanced into a more attacking role, almost alongside his new Manchester City team-mate, Bony. And as I write that, Bony gives as glimpse of why City paid so much money for him, as he receives a pass some 25 yards out with his back to goal, tees himself up, spins and lashes an excellent effort at goal. The goalkeeper tips it over the bar. The corner is predictably rubbish.

47 min: Yattara turns past Tiote in midfield, then eludes Die and races towards the Ivorian defence. But he has no support and is eventually crowded out.

46 min: The players emerge for the second half, Guinean with glory in their sights, and Ivory Coast aware that a failure to improve will lead to a storm of familiar criticism beating down on their heads.

It’s been another sub-par showing from Ivory Coast, and an admirable one by Guinea. The zest and intent of the underdogs have been rewarded with a superbly taken goal by Yattara, and aided by Ivorian sloppiness. Herve Renard’s needs to find a half-time team-talk as smart as his shirt.

44 min: Bony has been starved of service so far. Gervinho and Kalou have tried to feed him but the three midfielders are strangely far from attacks, either due to tactical instructions or a curious coyness. That needs to change.

41 min: Gervinho - again him - tries to lead an Ivorian attack. He races deep into Guinean territory and then spreads the play wide to Kalou, whose low cross is put behind for a corner. Yet again the corner fails to beat the first defender. This is sorry stuff from Ivory Coast.

39 min: Guinea aren’t sitting back: they appear to have reasoned, quite sensibly, that Ivory Coast are vulnerable at the back so more attacking is the best way of defending their lead. And Ivory Coast do not look at all happy about it ...

37 min: Ivory Coast have shown their well-known defensive dodginess, now they have to show their vaunted firepower: and they attempt to do that immediately after conceding, Kalou sending a wicked low cross into the danger zone. But Pogba clears well for a corner, which comes to nothing.

Traore crossed was given time to cross from the right and he hoisted one towards the back post, where a weak attempted clearance by Aurier donked it straight into the path of Yattara, who swiveled brilliantly and crashed the ball into the net from eight yards!

35 min: Gervinho, by far the most threatening Ivorian so far, cuts through the Guinean defence with another jagged run, but his finish doesn’t match that so Yattara is able to make a comfortable save.

34 min: Hmmn. The game’s becoming more scrappy than Scooby Doo’s nephew.

31 min: Die and Tiote’s tackling midfield is helping Ivory Coast gain a near-dominant platform. But Kanon’s tackling at the back is less solid, and he’s just given away a freekick in a dangerous position. But Traore over-hits it. If the service in team hotels were as poor as it has been from set-pieces in this game so far, players would be threatening walk-outs.

28 min: Aurier skedaddles down the right before flipping a nice pass into Kalou, who bursts into the box ... and then falls to the floor. Guinean players surround him and berate him for his suspicious lack of balance. The ref waves play on, and perhaps weeps internally for his sport.

26 min: Yaya Toure’s influence on the game so far has been roughly on a par with Roger Moore’s.

24 min: Camara gives away a foolish freekick in an excellent crossing position for Ivory Coast. But once again the delivery is shoddy and Guinea able to clear.

22 min: The Ivorians are starting to get the upper hand, but Guinean can draw optimism from the fact that Yattara and Traore are still finding occasional space out wide.

20 min: There’s a thrilling tempo to this game now, the Ivorians finally matching Guinea’s urgency. With both side bursting with attacking intent, goals are a certainty. A certainty, I tell you!

18 min: What a save! Gervinho’s scorched past the full-back and into the box before pulling the ball back to Bony. The striker’s shot but came back to Gervinho, who fired first-time at goal from 10 yards, only for Yattara to display magnificent agility and turn it on to the crossbar!

16 min: The picture is back! Just in time to see an Ivorian corner cleared at the near post.

14 min: Eurosport’s picture has cut out again: we can only assume that a player has gone and done something obscene on the pitch to trigger censorship. Either that or the connection to Equatorial Guinea is playing up. I prefer to think it’s the former.

11 min: A wonderful cross-field ball finds Traore, and the Borussia Monchengladbach winger hurtles down the left and sends in a cross ... at least that was the plan: in reality his delivery sailed behind the goals. Still, Guinea’s ability to find space must give them encouragement.

9 min: Ivory Coast muster a serious threat for the first time, Kalou sending Gervinho clear with a nice pass into space behind the left-back. Gervinho pulls the ball back to the edge of the area, where Bony commits a foul in his attempt to get to the ball before the defender.

7 min: Guinea continue to be the more sprightly side. Ivory Coast appear to be dozing. Fofana heads wide from the altest corner.

5 min: Lovely work down the left Yattara, who skips past two Ivorians before dinking the ball through to Keita, who wins a corner. Gbohuou claims it after a near-post header.

3 min: Ivory Coast get themselves in a bit of bother with some over-intricate play at the back - Kolo Toure bringing a little bit of Liverpool with him, apparently - and Guinean’s pressing forces a throw-in in an attacking position. The underdog elephants are pressing feverishly and the favourites are looking a little slovenly: have they learned nothing from the last decade?!

1 min: Peep! The match is in motion, and the footage appears to be coming from a camera in a hot-air balloon. Coincidentally, the ball appears to have ballon-like qualities so within seconds of the start, the ref orders a new one.

This, I feel confident in declaring, is the world’s foremost inter-elephant derby, Guinea’s nickname of Syli National meaning ‘National Elephant’.

Here come the teams, Guinea clad in pristine white and the Ivorians in bright orange.

Welcome to the clash between the bookies’ favourites and the neutral’s favourites. Guinea are the team to cheer on if you have no other allegiance in this tournament, as they reached it despite the pain and hardship caused in their country by the Ebola virus. An eagerness to show a defiantly positive side of their country helped motivate the players during the qualification campaign, when they were forced to play all their ‘home’ matches in Morocco, where they were subjected to twice-daily check-ups that they found demeaning. While the draw has been been uncharitable – Ivory Coast and Cameroon are elephantine obstacles to the knockout stages –Guinea’s spirit and organisation give them hope, as does the decidedly rickety-looking Ivorian defence.

Guinea’s defence has been depleted by an injury to centreback and captain Kamil Zayatte, however, and Ivory Coast boast a far higher pedigree of attacker. The likes of Wilfried Bony, Gervinho and Yaya Touré are capable of dismantling any side and, not for the first time, they will be spurred on by a desire to show that they are not bottlers. The Ivorians have gone into each of the last five Africa Cup of Nations as favourites only to flop for a variety of reasons, the closest they came to winning being in 2006, when their assistant manager was Michel Dussuyer, who is today in charge of Guinea. Ivory Coast, of course, are now led by Hervé Renard, giving them a swoon factor that, come to think of it, may make them, too, a popular choice for neutrals.

Ivory Coast: Gbohouo; Aurier, K Touré, Bailly, Kanon; Serey Die, Tioté, Y Touré, Kalou, Bony, Gervinho.

Guinea: N Yattara; Issiaga, Pogba, F Camara, Sankoh, N Kéita, B Fofana, Constant, Conté, I Traoré, M Yattara

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