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Celebration as Ivory Coast marks its third AFCON title after beating Nigeria

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Ivory Coast national team
Ivory Coast national team. Photo/The Athletic
  • Ivory Coast are the Champions at the AFCON finals
  • Sebastien Haller scored late to lead Ivory Coast to a 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the 2024 AFCON finals
  • The Super Eagles were outplayed in the first half and attempted to equalize after Haller’s goal

Nigeria’s national team also known as the Super Eagles lost their victory to the Ivory Coast national team at the 2024 AFCON finals held in Ivory Coast.

This marks Ivory Coast’s third AFCON triumph, a tournament that has brought them to level with Nigeria as the joint-fourth most successful team in the tournament. Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba was present in the match to cheer his former team.

At the start of the competition, Frenchman Jean-Louis Gasset was the manager at the start of the competition and Emerse Fae took over as the coach after the group stage. The Ivory Coast national team lost two of three games in the preliminary round to fall to the brink of elimination, but they would eventually qualify as one of the best third-placed teams.

Ivory Coast enjoyed the better part of the first half, perhaps unsurprisingly given the sea of orange in the stands and the midfield duo of Seko Fofana and Jean Michael Seri controlling tempo.

However, Nigeria took the lead against the run of play in the 38th minute through Troost-Ekong’s header, the Super Eagles’ first effort on goal of the match.

Ivory Coast Beats Nigeria at the Finals in the 2024 AFCON

This marks Ivory Coast’s third AFCON triumph, a match that brings the team on level with the Super Eagles as the joint-fourth most successful team in the tournament, making it the fifth time Nigeria has fallen short at the final hurdle of the competition. Among the dignitaries who attended were the FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Ivory Coast football legend Didier Drogba.

Ivory Coast enjoyed the better part of the first half maybe because of the presence of Seko Fofana and Jean Mike Seri controlling the tempo. However, Nigeria took its lead against the run of play in the 38th minute through Troost-Ekong’s header, the Super Eagles’ first effort on goal of the match.

Sebastien Haller

Sebastien Haller. Sky Sports

Ivory Coast almost hit back early in the second half but  Frank Kessie eventually scored from a corner of their own to square proceedings and send the entire stadium into rapturous celebrations. 

Sebastian Haller just got back from an injury recovery and he saved his team with a late score that marked the team as winners. It is victory over victory as Haller comes back from cancer treatment a victor and again scores a goal that saw his team the winners.

The tournament marks Ivory Coast’s third title after wins in 1992 and 2015, both won on penalties.

Nigeria Super Eagles Participation in the  AFCON 2024 Finals

Nigeria captain Troost-Ekong had scored in the 38th against the run of play with a header to a corner. The Super Eagles had been outplayed in the first half and only threatened again in a desperate attempt to equalize after Haller’s goal.

Troost also scored when the teams last met in the group stage for Nigeria’s 1-0 win. That match had been just the start of the Elephant’s troubles as Ivory Coast was almost eliminated in its next game.

Nigeria conceded as many goals in the finals as it had in all its previous games in the tournament. Coach Jose Peseiro banked on a mean defence to earn what would have been the Super Eagles’ fourth title though Ivory Coast defeated them.

Super Eagles

Super Eagles. Photo/Afrik-Foot

Nigeria threw caution to the wind for the rest of the game with Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro sending on several attacking substitutes to support Victor Osimhen who toiled up front on his own for large swathes of the hot evening.

Ivory Coast’s defence held firm to secure a famous victory that led the host team’s fans to a celebration mood. In his statement, Josse Peseiro said that his team had a fantastic tournament though the Ivory Coast national team was better.

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