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Sports News of Tuesday, 25 June 2019


Kodjia wins day for Cote D’ Ivoire

Jonathan Kodjia Jonathan Kodjia

Cote D’ Ivoire’s Jonathan Kodjia’s lone goal earned the Elephants all three points in their opening Group D match against South Africa, on Monday at the Al Saalam Stadium in Cairo.

The Aston Villa forward scored his ninth international goal after latching onto Max Gradel's pass before sending the ball through the legs of South African goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

Nicolas Pepe struck the woodwork in the first half, while Thulani Hlatshwayo headed inches over the bar for South Africa with the score still goalless.

Cote D’ Ivoire dominated the game in the early minutes and would have been disappointed not to go into half-time with a narrow lead.

Forward Pepe, who scored 23 goals in 41 appearances for Ligue 1 runners-up Lille last season, rattled the crossbar with a curling free-kick after being tripped on the edge of the penalty area.

Kodjia should have put the Elephants ahead moments later after latching on to Hlatshwayo's poor clearance, but the 29-year-old fired straight at Williams with the goal gaping.

Hlatshwayo missed Bafana Bafana's best chance, heading Sifiso Hlanti's cross wide of the mark with the score still goalless, while Williams tipped another goal-bound Pepe free-kick over the bar late on.

Ibrahim Kamara's side takes on Morocco in their next Group D game on Friday (17:00 GMT), while South Africa face Namibia later that day (20:00 GMT).

Morocco defeated Namibia 1-0 in the other Group D game on Sunday.