GERVINHO saved Ivory Coast from embarrassment with a late winner to earn them a 2-1 win over Togo in their opening Afcon match at Royal Bafokeng Stadium yesterday, which saw the celebrated Didier Drogba reduced to an ordinary player.
Yaya Toure scored for Ivory Coast in the eighth minute, after Togo failed to take the lead in the third when captain Emmanuel Adebayor shot wide.
The Togolese then put up a strong challenge and Jonathan Ayite levelled matters in the 44th minute.
The second half saw crowd favourite Drogba, who failed to rise to the occasion, shooting over the crossbar. He was replaced in the 74th minute.
Many spectators were convinced Togo were going to pull off a dramatic draw until Gervinho found the net in the 88th minute. – Ramatsiyi Moholoa