Poor goalkeeping, sloppy defending and two missed penalties by Guinea cost them as Ivory Coast emerged 2-1 winners to take bronze at the 2016 Africa Nations Championship (Chan) on Sunday at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda.

Ivory Coast started the match without two experienced defenders, Mahan Goua and Yace Marius who were both ruled out due of injury. They had both been part of Ivory Coast’s five matches en-route to the final, commanding 802 minutes between themselves.

Abdoulaye Karim Cisse also started in goal ahead of Badra Ali Sangare, the latter saved a penalty against Mali before faltering as Yves Bissouma scored Mali’s winner in the semifinals.

After 25 minutes Karim Cisse brought down Abdoulaye Samake and was booked by Hudu Munyemana as the latter also pointed at the spot. Karim Cisse composed himself to save Ibrahima Sory Sankhon’s effort to keep the tense game goalless.

Guinea’s coach Mohamed Kanfory Bangoura who succeeded his Ivory Coast counterpart Michel Dussuyer had predicted a physiological and less physical game as both sides tried to find their feet in the opening 30 minutes.

After 31 minutes, Guinea’s skipper and custodian Abdoul Aziz Keita passed a goal kick to teammate Mohamed Youla whose back pass beat the latter for Ivory Coast’s opener.

Four minutes later Guinea were 2-0 down with Badie Gbagnon taking advantage of Guinea’s sloppy defending as he shot past Aziz Keita.

Guinea were forced to make a first half substitution with three minutes left to the break when Aboubacar Kile Bangoura came on for the limping Sory Sankhon.

Guinea composed themselves in the second half and started playing the football they had played all tournament, but couldn’t break down Ivory Coast’s defense.

Koffi Boua had the chance to triple Ivory Coast lead after 50 minutes but good goalkeeping from Keita denied the Association Sportive Tanda striker.

Ivory Coast conceded another penalty when Houhan Conde brought down substitute Boniface Haba, but Karim Cisse again dived the right direction to save it.

With five minutes to play, Guinea’s Nouhan Conde pulled one back but Ivory Coast held on until the final whistle. It was Gunea’s maiden appearance at the Championship that started in 2009, while Ivory Coast playing at their third qualified out of the group stages for the first time.

Guinea Starting XI: Abdoul Aziz Keita, Alseny Bangoura, Ibrahima Sory Sankhon (Aboubacar Kile Bangoura), Ibrahima Sory Soumah, Abdulaye Samake (Boniface Haba), Aboubacar Sylla, Alseny Camara, Jean Mouste, Daouda Camara (Mohamed Thiam) Mohamed Youla, Aboubacar Leo Camara

Unused Subs: Abdoulaye Kante, Ibrahima Sory Bangoura, Thierno Camara, Aboubacar Mouctar Sylla, Moussa Diawara, Alseny Camara, Issiaga Camara, Ibrahima Conde, Nouhan Conde

Ivory Coast Starting XI: Abdoulaye Karim Cisse, Dagou Willie, Essis Aka, Atcho Hemann(Djedje Guiza), Gbanon Anicet, Adams Kangoute, Koffi Boua, Yao Serge N’guessan, Inza Diabate, Cheick Ibrahim Camara, Soualiho Coulibaly

Unused Subs: Drissa Bamba, Marcelin Koffi, Soula Dabila, Krahire Yannick, Diallo Kouame, Badra Sagnare, Dominique Anderson, Eric Wassawaly, Nilmar Treika

Senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering volleyball, football and badminton

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