Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard admitted to mixed emotions after his side began their Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a 1-1 draw against Guinea in Malabo on Tuesday.
“If it was before the game we wouldn’t be happy with this result. In the first half we weren’t fantastic but should have been in front from two chances for Gervinho. Then we lost a goal from an error of communication,” said the Frenchman.
“We pushed forward and then Gervinho was sent off. We had to react, but even at 10 against 11 we could have gone on to win the game.”
Mohamed Yattara gave Guinea a surprise lead in the Group D game before Gervinho was sent off early in the second half, but substitute Seydou Doumbia earned the Elephants a draw.
Of his side’s hopes of qualifying ahead of games against Cameroon and Mali, Renard said: “We were not favourites before this group because I think Cameroon were better in qualifying.
“I don’t think you can underestimate Guinea. But nothing is finished.”
Captain Yaya Toure added: “The CAN is never easy. We didn’t take our chances in the first half but that’s football.
“We will be without an important player against Mali but you saw that the entrance of Doumbia made a difference.
“Against Mali it will be very difficult like today but I still think we have a chance to go through.