Sangare Ibrahim opened the scoring for the local Elephants early into the meeting after a sloppy defending by Ghana before Joel Fameyeh pulled level for the hosts on 35th minute to pile pressure on Michel Dussuyer’s men, who were able to hold on until the break.
Ghana continued from where they left it after the recess, with coach Maxwell Konadu rueing countless missed chances by his charges.
Fameyeh underlined his importance to the Black Stars once more after connecting a fine pass on 73rd minute to push the scoreline to 2-1.
Konadu ordered his men to pour forth for more goals but the Ivorian defence were equal to the task, preventing Ghana to further rub salt into their wounds.
The Black Stars are hoping to make their fourth successive appearance in the biennial competition exclusively reserved for home-based players, after finishing second in the maiden edition in 2009, while Cote d’Ivoire are seeking a return to the tournament after missing out on the 2014 edition following a defeat to Nigeria in the qualifiers.
The winner of the home and away tie will qualify alongside 15 others to join host Rwanda for the finals scheduled to hold between January 16 and February 7, 2016.