Ivory Coast coach Dussuyer happy with recent 0-0 results

Michel Dussuyer
Ivory Coast coach Michel Dussuyer

Two good away results in the last five days for Ivory Coast has left coach Michel Dussuyer well satisfied, as they look ahead to defending their continental crown - even if his side failed to find the net over the last three hours of action.

The injury-hit Ivorians, with Gervinho and Eric Bailly out, drew a key World Cup qualifier in Morocco last Saturday.

They followed it up with another goalless draw in a prestige friendly with France in Lens on Tuesday night.

It gives the Elephants renewed hope for the defence of their African Nations Cup title in Gabon in January, even if they have been hit hard by injuries plus the retirement from international football of the talismanic Yaya Toure.

"There is satisfaction in the outcome and the content of our game," said Dussuyer after the draw against the French.

"We could have grabbed a little more but I'm very happy with the match we played. We were solid, we were serious, we not only defended well but we showed we also wanted to play. We have created opportunities. France also had some opportunities. It was a good game for us."

The Ivorians were among 11 African countries who used the Fifa window for more international action on Tuesday before having to release their players back to their respective clubs.

Morocco, with pressure mounting on Herve Renard after two World Cup draws, were back in action in Marrakech against Togo, another of the sides they will face at the Nations Cup.

They got a boost with a 2-1 win using 11 players who had not started against the Ivorians on Saturday. But Togo, with Emmanuel Adebayor as captain and Claude Leroy coaching against his former assistant, led after just eight minutes through Lloyd Ayite.

Morocco had to come back with a pair of goals from Khalid Boutaib.

Nations Cup hosts Gabon met the Comoros Islands in Tunis, as they journeyed back from their World Cup draw in Mali on Saturday, but failed to win the second game since Jose Antonio Garrido took over

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who will play against Bayern Munich on Saturday in the Bundesliga, was left out of the team but Mario Lemina of Juventus played, missing a good early chance.

The ever improving islanders, who drew 2-2 with Togo in another game at the El Menzah Stadium last Friday, were first to score through Djamel Bakar, as they sliced through the midfield, but Lemina equalised in the 65th minute.

There was another international in Tunisia where the Carthage Eagles were held 0-0 by Mauritania and had Wahbi Khazri sent off in the 58th minute at Gabes, hosting its first ever international and filling the 10,000-capacity Stade Olympique.

Tunisia looked flat after returning home from an away win over Libya on Friday in the World Cup qualifiers.

South Africa's coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba had to stay at home, as he awaits his disciplinary hearing after allegedly insulting senior officials at the weekend, while his team went across the border to Maputo for a 1-1 draw with Mozambique.

Owen da Gama took temporary charge and gave a debut to the tall Dutch-born striker Lars Veldwijk, who failed to make any impression and was taken off at half-time

By that time Bafana Bafana were a goal down after the dribbling skills of 33-year-old Mozambique captain Dominguez foxed goalkeeper Ronwen Williams into a horror error that saw him come out of his area but get beaten to the ball. But Dominguez contrived, with the 'keeper well beaten, to hit the post, but Celsio spared his blushes by tapping home the reboud.

Bradley Grobler came off the bench to equalise just before the hour mark and South Africa might have won in the last minute when defender Clayton Daniels' header cannoned back off the crossbar.

Kenya won 1-0 for a third successive time by beating Liberia in Nairobi on Tuesday with Paul Were scoring the only goal in the 51st minute, catching the Liberian defence by beating their offside trap.

Victor Wanyama played just the first half of the encounter in which the Kenyans also hit the woodwork three times. Coach Samuel Okumbi has now gone eight games without a loss but said his strikers needed more polish to finish off their myriad of chances.