AFCON 2017: Favorites Ivory Coast held to draw, DR Congo shock Morocco | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 17.01.2017
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AFCON 2017

AFCON 2017: Favorites Ivory Coast held to draw, DR Congo shock Morocco

Four of the opening six games have ended in draws at the Africa Cup of Nations, but there has been plenty of drama. Title holders Ivory Coast couldn't get past Togo, while DR Congo landed a lucky punch to beat Morocco.

Ivory Coast 0-0 Togo

Title holders Ivory Coast were held to a goalless draw by outsiders Togo as the series of draws continued in the first week of the African Cup of Nations in Gabon on Monday.

The Elephants, two-time winners of the competition, featured Hertha Berlin's Salomon Kalou and English-born Wilfried Zaha in their lineups. But Togo, a plucky outfit under the stewardship of the vastly experienced Claude de Roy, flooded the box and kept the back door firmly shut.

But the reigning African champions had the best of the opportunities with Jonathan Kodija denied, while Serge Aurier headed wide unmarked in the second half.

"It is not the start that we would have liked," admitted Ivory Coast coach Michel Dussuyer. "There are still two matches left. We expect more from ourselves. We did not manage to put intensity into our game. We played at 1700 local time (1600 GMT) and it was very hot. We did not know how to destabilize Togo. In the end, it was a pale copy of what we can do. We are all aware of this, me more so than anyone."

Afrika Cup 2017 Fußball Marokko Kongo (picture-alliance/AP Photo/S.Alamba)

A fan of DR Congo can't believe it as his side lead Africa's perennial underachievers, Morocco

DR Congo 1-0 Morocco
(Kabananga 55')

After Moroccan Mbark Boussoufa struck the crossbar, Florent Ilbenge's nomadic side pinched the three points from the former champions when Lomalisa Mutambala played in Kabananga and he finished off with a nice left-foot finish.

The upset came despite the fact that DR Congo's preparations for the competition had taken a hit when players went on strike over unpaid bonuses. This was after The Leopards had won five of their six qualifiers to book a place at this year's tournament. Ingolstadt full back Marcel Tisserand is one of the few top-level players in the Congo side alongside Norwich midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu. 

The final pair of fixtures in the first round of group-stage games kick off on Tuesday, with powerhouses Ghana facing Uganda and Egypt clashing with Mali.

rd/pfd (Reuters, AFP)