South Africa - Africa Cup of Nations

Mohamed Amine Ben Amor of Tunisia

Mohamed Amine Ben Amor of Tunisia

Tau, who scored four goals during South Africa's qualifying campaign, is looking forward to facing Namibia in their second Group D match at the Al Salam Stadium on Friday.

Ivory Coast headed home early in Gabon after they were held by Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo and lost against Morocco, but they almost took the lead here twice in quick succession around the half-hour.

"As much as every team wants to win its first tournament match, it is crucial not to lose because it puts you on the back foot immediately", says South Africa coach Stuart Baxter.

"We could have done better". "We need not get intimidated but play with respect and at the same time give the opponents the respect they deserve but never fear them".

Considering South Africa is more known for showboating rather than actually performing, it's perhaps surprising that Ivory Coast have a win probability of just 45%.

But Bafana Bafana have won only one of their last 15 games in the competition - 2-0 against Angola on home soil in January 2013 - and they take on an in-form Ivory Coast side in their opener. It's for the whole people, a whole nation.

As Cameroon have yet to play their first game at the tournament, they can still replace Tagueu. He has formed a good partnership with Wilfried Zaha at global level and has been tipped to light up the tournament.

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Uruguay was already in control when Quintero was sent off at the Mineirao, which held a small crowd of about 13,000 people. Ecuador finished with only on shot on goal, coming in the first minute of the match.

The slightly-built attacker was signed by Premier League outfit Brighton last season, lent to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium, and his brace against Libya ensured qualification for Egypt.

South Africa worldwide Percy Tau feels that they could have done better in their defeat to Ivory Coast on Monday afternoon.

Ivory Coast won the title for the second time in 2015, but crashed out in the group stage two years ago without a victory, and are trying to rebuild a team to match that of its golden generation.

- This is Ivory Coast's 23rd AFCON participation, a tally only bettered by Egypt (24).

Lebo Mothiba daringly likened South Africa's training sessions to those of Barcelona, but the striker believes his battling style blended with the team's possession-based approach could deliver success at the Africa Cup of Nations.

- Ivory Coast have lost only one of their last 17 AFCON group games, with their last defeat in an opening match coming against Ghana back in 1996.

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