Cote d’Ivoire moved up to second in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying group with a slender 1-0 win over Sudan at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium in Abidjan on Friday.
Gervinho scored the only goal of the game in the 34th minute to hand the Elephants their first win in Group I.
The three points see them up to second in the qualifying group with five points, after drawing their opening two games, two points adrift of Gabon who beat Sierra Leone 2-1 earlier in the day.
The loss for Sudan, their second in Group I, leaves them placed third in the standings on three points, followed by Sierra Leone on one point.
It was not a highly entertaining game in Abidjan with Cote d’Ivoire struggling to find the right pass in the final third.
The home side dominated matters for the majority of the match, but were only to find one goal through a clinical finish from striker Gervinho.
Sudan offered very little in attack and rarely threatened the Cote d’Ivoire goal.
Cote d’Ivoire will be boosted by the win ahead of the return leg against Sudan four days later on 29 March 2016 in Khartoum.
Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Malick Evouna for Gabon in a 2-1 win over Sierra Leone in an international friendly match at Stade de Franceville on Friday.
The Panthers build on their good run of form as they continue their preparation to hosting the tournament next year.
Borussia Dortmund forward ,Aubameyang, opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 42 minutes – the defender guilty of the foul receiving his marching orders.
Evouna doubled the hosts lead five minutes into the second-half, latching onto a ball from Didier Ndong. The Al Ahly forward adding to the brace he scored against Sudan last September.
Despite being a man down, the Leone Stars continued to fight and pulled a goal back through Sheka late on.
The two teams will face each other in the reverse fixture at the National Stadium in Freetown on Monday.