In what will be remembered as an all-time AFCON classic on Sunday night, the Ivory Coast were crowned African champions for a third time following a 2-1 victory in Abidjan.
However, while the Elephants might have been backed by an emotional home support of 60,000 fans in the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara, it was Nigeria who took a first-half lead as William Troost-Ekong powered home.
With the Super Eagles putting in a gritty performance prior to the half-time break, this month’s home nation appeared set for a frustrating night in front of their own supporters.
Nevertheless, banging on the door and causing Nigeria a string of problems, the Ivory Coast final got their reward as ex-Barcelona star Franck Kessie bagged his second knockout stage strike just after the hour mark.
In an emotionally charged showdown on Sunday, it was Borussia Dortmund’s Sebastian Haller who wrote himself into the AFCON history books and completed what has been a remarkable return from his cancer diagnosis back in July 2022.
Producing a sublime flicked finish at the near post and handing the Elephants a first Africa Cup of Nations trophy since 2015, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Abidjan.
The Elephants complete an astonishing comeback
Signing off their Group C nightmare on January 22nd with a woeful 4-0 drumming at the hands of Equatorial Guinea, the Ivory Coast certainly found themselves at the heart of a public crisis.
Shockingly parting ways with Jean-Louis Gasset before it was confirmed that they had snuck their way to a knockout stage ticket, the Elephants’ home tournament has been nothing short of a rollercoaster.
Turning to interim boss Emerse Fae in an attempt to steady their rapidly sinking ship, the one-time Reading midfielder has masterminded a famous comeback and it almost seems inevitable that Fae will be handed a lucrative permanent deal.
Installing renewed belief after inheriting a side which were given a second life as…
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Author : Tom Dunstan
Publish date : 2024-02-12 11:21:28
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