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Kessie gives Ivory Coast a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia

July 22, 2021 GMT
Ivory Coast's Franck Kessie celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Saudi Arabia during a men's soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
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Ivory Coast's Franck Kessie celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Saudi Arabia during a men's soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
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Ivory Coast's Franck Kessie celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Saudi Arabia during a men's soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Franck Kessie scored the go-ahead goal in the 66th minute and Ivory Coast beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 Thursday in its opening match in the men’s Olympic soccer tournament.

Ivory Coast was making its first Olympic appearance since the 2008 Beijing Games, when the team advanced to the knockout stage. Saudi Arabia hasn’t been to an Olympics in soccer since 1996.

Ivory Coast went ahead 1-0 late in the first half after an own-goal from defender Abdulelah Alamri, but Saudi Arabia rebounded when Salem Aldawsari scored in the 44th minute.

Kessie, who plays for AC Milan, scored off a pass from Manchester United forward Amad Diallo.

The two teams are in a tough group at the Olympics with Brazil, the gold medalists from the 2016 Games, and Germany, the silver medalists who lost to the Brazilians on penalties at the Maracana Stadium.

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