David Datro Fofana found the net from the penalty spot as Ivory Coast’s Under-23 team started their Toulon Tournament campaign with a draw against Panama.
The Chelsea striker picked out the bottom corner with a firm right-footed strike with 12 minutes on the clock. Fernand Goure was the man felled in the box.
Fofana, his country’s captain, set up a chance for Goure to double the Ivorians’ lead but his shot was well saved. Fofana had two shots of his own kept out in the second half and despite their dominance, Ivory Coast were pegged back in stoppage time by Panama. Fofana had gone off with 15 minutes remaining.
With the score 1-1 a bonus point was on offer for the penalty shoot-out that followed, and it was Ivory Coast who picked it up courtesy of a 5-3 spot-kick success.
The prestigious youth tournament is held annually in the south of France, and is also known by the founder Maurice Revello's name.
Ivory Coast’s next two group games are against Morocco on Saturday, and Japan next Tuesday.