The defending champions of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the Elephants of Ivory Coast have failed to make it out of the group stages.
Their title defence ended with a one – nil loss in their last group C fixture with Morocco. The Ivorians exited the tournament with two points and two goals. Both goals coming in their second match against DR Congo.
The only goal of the match came through a stunning long range strike by Rachid Alioui in the 64th minute. He planted the ball into the the top left corner of the Ivorian goal after which the team held on fairly well for the remainder of the game.
DR Congo on the other hand took maximum points from the Hawks of Togo to top the group with seven points. The Moroccans also ended with six points whiles Ivory Coast and Togo ended third and fourth with two and one point respectively.
The Ivorians led by Michel Dussuyer were outfoxed by the man who led them to the trophy in 2015, Herve Renard.
Renard after leading Zambia to the title in 2013, joined the Ivory Coast and led them to beat Ghana on penalties in 2015 to win the tournament staged in Equatorial Guinea. It was the second Ivorian AFCON crown in the country’s history.
Dussuyer in a post match conference said he took full responsibility of the team’s failure to make the next round. The team were without three main players from the 2015 team, the Toure brothers retired after the victory and skipper Gervinho was injured in the lead up to the tournament.