Tau unable to stop South Africa from falling to opening African Cup of Nations loss

Brighton & Hove Albion forward Percy Tau (left) in action for South Africa against Ivory Coast. Picture courtesy of Getty Images
Brighton & Hove Albion forward Percy Tau (left) in action for South Africa against Ivory Coast. Picture courtesy of Getty Images

Brighton & Hove Albion striker Percy Tau's 2019 African Cup of Nations campaign got off to a less-than-ideal start as South Africa fell to a 1-0 defeat against Ivory Coast in Group D this (Monday) afternoon.

The first-half of the game saw little in the way of goalmouth action as both sides struggled with the 36 degree heat inside Cairo's Al Salam Stadium.

But Ivory Coast eventually broke the deadlock on 64 minutes through Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia. Former Leeds United and Bournemouth winger Max Gradel sparked a quick breakaway from a South African corner.

The ball found Kodjia in the area who finished with aplomb to secure an opening game victory for Les Éléphants.

Tau played the full 90 minutes for Bafana Bafana but failed to trouble Ivory Coast keeper Sylvain Gbohouo.

The South African forward spent the 2018/19 season on loan at Belgian-outfit Royale Union Saint-Gilloise. The 25-year-old hit 12 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions and was named Union's Player of the Season.

The other game in Group D saw Morocco record a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Namibia on Sunday evening.

South Africa take on the Namibians in their next Group D game on Friday June 28.

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