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African Nations Cup: Gervinho goal gives Ivory Coast win over Togo

Ivory Coast's Gervinho celebrates his goal against Togo during their African Nations Cup (AFCON 2013) Group D soccer match in Rustenburg, January 22, 2013.

MIKE HUTCHINGS/REUTERS

Ivory Coast striker Gervinho scored an 88th-minute winner to give the pre-tournament favourites a battling 2-1 win over Togo in their opening African Nations Cup Group D encounter at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Tuesday.

The match seemed destined to become the sixth of the seven played so far at the African Nations Cup to finish all square before Gervinho swept a Yaya Toure free kick high into the Togo net from the acutest of angles.

Both teams had chances to win the game after Yaya Toure put Ivory Coast ahead in the eight minute and Jonathan Ayite scored Togo's equaliser just before halftime.

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That was the first goal the Ivorians had conceded in the finals since 2010 after keeping a clean sheet in every match last year when they drew the final 0-0 with Zambia then lost on penalties.

Tunisia were playing Algeria in the second Group D match later at the same stadium.

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