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Toure header gives Ivory Coast victory

Ivory Coast players celebrate Kolo Toure's goal in their 1-0 victory over Italy in London.
Ivory Coast players celebrate Kolo Toure's goal in their 1-0 victory over Italy in London.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cesare Prandelli's reign as Italy national coach gets off to a disappointing start
  • Kolo Toure scores the only goal as Ivory Coast claim a 1-0 victory in London
  • Prandelli was appointed as Marcello Lippi's successor in June after World Cup
  • He handed new caps to four players, but Ivory Coast were always in command

(CNN) -- Italy lost their first match since flopping at the World Cup finals in South Africa, going down 1-0 to Ivory Coast on a rainy night in London.

A second-half header from Manchester City defender Kolo Toure proved enough for the Elephants in a match which saw new Italian coach Cesare Prandelli give debuts to four players.

Prandelli was appointed as the successor to Marcello Lippi following Italy's dismal World Cup, where they failed to qualify from the group stages despite going into the tournament as the holders.

And he began his reign by naming goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, defender Cristian Molinaro and forwards Mario Balotelli and Brazilian-born Amauri.

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Inter Milan striker Balotelli, who has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City during the summer, nearly scored a debut goal when his free-kick flew just over the crossbar in the fourth minute.

Strike partner Amauri also had a great chance to open his account, heading over from six yards just before the break.

Then, in the first minute of the second half, Marco Motta broke into the box before seeing his shot rebound off the post.

And Italy were to rue those missed chances when Ivory Coast scored the winner in the 56th minute when Toure headed home Guy Demel's cross.