THE Ivory Coast needed a second half equaliser by substitute Seydou Doumbia to rescue a point after Guinea had struck first through Mohammed Yattara in their opening Group D game in Malabo.
Ivory Coast were down to ten men when Gervinho was sent off in the second half, but Doumbia lifted their spirits with a well worked leveller to cancel out Mohammed Yattara’s volleyed goal against the run of play.
As expected Guinea were happy to sit back and allow Ivory Coast to keep the ball and do all the thinking while they looked for gaps on the counter attack.
It took a while until the Ivorians got their first real chance on goal when Gervinho’s run into the danger area ended in a shot that rocketed off the crossbar and into safety on 17 minutes.
Ivory Coast continued to ask the questions, but found Guinea quite happy to defend and clear away the danger using wingers Traoré and Conté to break away at speed.
In the 35th minute Gervinho made a good run from the left inside and towards goal, but as he pulled the trigger he scuffed his shot and the ball went straight to the keeper with little power.
Then, a minute later and totally against the run of play, Guinea took the lead with a fantastic strike. Mohammed Yattara was at the back post and pounced to volley home a loose ball after a mistake by Serge Aurier who headed a deep cross right into his path instead of out for a corner.
Five minutes into the second half and Wilfried Bony came close to the target. He took one touch to control the ball, turned and struck a volley just over the bar.
Then in the 56th minute Yaya Touré managed a snap shot on his left foot, but the effort was well wide of the upright.
Two minutes later and the frustration of the Ivorians came to the fore when Gervinho was red carded for an off the ball incident where he lashed out at his opponent.
In the 72nd minute Ivory Coast were back in the contest when substitute Doumbia slotted home after great work by Bony who took a pass on the chest and volleyed the ball to Doumbia in space.
Guinea pressed hard for a winning goal and showed why they will be a team to watch at Afcon 2015.
Guinea (1) 1 (M Yattara 36’)
Ivory Coast (0) 1 (Doumbia 72’)
Guinea: N Yattara, Is Sylla, Pogba, F Camara, Sankoh, Kéita, Fofana, Constant, Conté, Traoré, M Yattara (Abdoul Camara 67’)
Ivory Coast: Gbohouo, Aurier, K Touré, Bailly, Kanon, Serey Dié (Tiene 64’), Tioté, Y Touré (Doukoure 86’), Kalou (Doumbia 64’), Bony, Gervinho