Abuja — Wilfried Bony and Gervinho's second-half headers earned Cote d'Ivoire a 2-1 victory over Japan in their first group encounter on Sunday.
The Elephants who had 59.7 per cent possession in the first half couldn't make anything of their dominance.
Against the run of play, Japan edged their way into the lead in the 16th minute.
Keisuke Honda put Alberto Zaccheroni's men into the lead with a wonderful finish, after controlling the ball in the box with his first touch before thundering home.
However, the introduction of Didier Drogba in the second half sparked the Elephants into life as full-back Serge Aurier created both goals with impressive crosses from the right.
Sunday's win was the first for Cote d'Ivoire in an opening fixture at a World Cup.
With this victory, Cote d'Ivoire have moved into second in Group C behind Colombia ahead of their clash on Thursday, while Japan face Greece on the same day.