Cote d'Ivoire forward Jonathan Kodjia's 64th-minute goal secured the win for his side over South Africa in the Group D opener at Al Salam Stadium.
The Aston Villa forward Kodjia tapped home from a Max Gradel pass inside the box. Despite a starting line up featuring Nicolas Pepe who was awarded Africa's best player in France, the Elephants struggled to break down the Bafana Bafana side.
Pepe struck the woodwork from a 25-yard free-kick in the 30th minute. A minute later Jonathan Kodjia missed a sitter after deciding to go for power than precision.
The Elephants finally had the break in the second department courtesy Kodjia who made no mistake this time around from his earlier miss.
In the 88th minute, a superb free kick by Pepe was met with a top drawer fingertip save by the South Africa goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.
The win sees Cote d'Ivoire move level on points with Morocco who on Sunday defeated Namibia by the same margin. They two sides play each other on Friday, June 28 at 5:00 pm at Al Salam Stadium.