2023 AFCON: Nigeria Cote d’Ivoire report

2023 AFCON: Nigeria Cote d’Ivoire report
Jean Thierry Lazare of Cote dIvoire celebrates victory during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations match between Mali and Ivory Coast held at Peace Stadium in Bouake, Cote DIvoire on 03 February 2024 ©Weam Mostafa/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Monday Feb 12, 2024. 00:01

The final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations saw Cote d’Ivoire defeat Nigeria 2-1 at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

The Elephants came from a goal down and secured their third AFCON title thanks to second-half strikes from Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller. The Super Eagles opened the scoring via William Troost-Ekong.

Date: Sunday 11 February 2024

Nigeria (1) 1 (Troost-Ekong 38’)

Cote d’Ivoire (0) 2 (Kessie 62’, Haller 81’)

Nigeria: Nwabali, Ajayi, Troost-Ekong, Bassey, Aina, Onyeka (Moffi 86’), Iwobi (Yusuf 79’), Sanusi (Aribo 86’), Chukwueze (Simon 56’), Lookman (Iheanacho 79’), Osimhen

Cote d’Ivoire: Y. Fofana, Aurier (Singo 70’), Kossounou, Ndicka, Konan, Seri (Amani 90+3’), Kessie, S. Fofana (Sangare 89’), Gradel (Diakite 70’), Adingra, Haller (Krasso 88’)

First 45: Cote d’Ivoire were the more imposing team in attack and had chances for Sebastien Haller and Max Gradel inside the opening half hour, before a 34th minute drive from Simon Adingra forced an excellent save from Nigeria goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali.

The Super Eagles had offered little in attack but claimed the lead against the run of play in the 38th minute, with William Troost-Ekong getting on the end of a looping ball in the penalty area and powering home a header for 1-0.

Second 45: Just past the hour mark the Elephants won a corner when Nwabali turned Odilon Kossounou’s long-range drive around the post. The set piece saw Adingra whip in a cross which found Franck Kessie, and the midfielder nodded home from a few yards out to draw the hosts level at 1-1 on 63 minutes.

On 81 minutes the Elephants completed their comeback, as Adingra crossed from the left and Haller stuck his leg out in front of Troost-Ekong to glance the ball into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead.

The host nation were able to hold off Nigeria’s late attempts at finding an equaliser, with the final whistle confirming an incredible AFCON triumph for the team in orange.

What the result means: Cote d’Ivoire have won a third AFCON title, adding to their triumphs in 1992 and 2015, and they became the first host champions since Egypt in 2006.

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