Abu Dhabi - The Ivory Coast defeated outgoing champions Nigeria 1-0 on Sunday in a 2015 African Cup of Nations warm-up in Abu Dhabi.
Former Chelsea and Lille striker Salomon Kalou grabbed the only goal of the match on 83 minutes following good buildup play from Cheick Tiote.
Coach Herve Renard suffered a blow when Saint-Etienne striker Max-Alain Gradel was taken off with an ankle injury with 30 minutes left.
The "Elephants", who won their only African title in 1992 when they defeated Ghana 11-10 on penalties, continue their preparation with a friendly against Sweden in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Nigeria, who won their third Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 when they defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 in South Africa, failed to qualify for this year's tournament.
The 2015 AFCON tournament gets underway on January 17 in Equatorial Guinea and runs until February 8 with Ivory Coast in Group D along with Guinea, Cameroon and Mali.