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From Near Exit to Glory As Ivory Coast beat Nigeria to Win Third Nations Cup

From Near Exit to AFCON Glory, As Ivory Coast beat Nigeria to Win Third Nations Cup
AFCON 2023 Champions

In a remarkable turn of events, the Ivory Coast national football team has emerged as the 2023 CAF African Cup of Nations champion, marking a stunning comeback from the brink of elimination to clinch the prestigious title.

The Elephants have etched their names in football history as they overcame formidable odds to claim the championship on home soil. The journey to glory for Ivory Coast was riddled with challenges and uncertainties. 

Led by coach Emerse Fae, appointed amidst almost elimination after the sack of former coach Jean-Louis Gasset, the Ivorians embarked on a remarkable campaign that led to their crowning as champions.

Recall the host nation’s quest for AFCON glory appeared in jeopardy during the group stage, where they suffered back-to-back defeats against Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, raising doubts about their ability to advance further in the tournament. 

However, despite the early setbacks, Ivory Coast rallied together, displaying unwavering resolve to secure a spot in the knockout stage as the best-performing third-placed team.

Their resurgence began with a dramatic penalty shootout victory over defending champions Senegal in the round of 16, followed by a hard-fought triumph against Mali in the quarterfinals. 

Ivory Coast continued to defy the odds, overcoming formidable opposition to reach the pinnacle of African football. A pivotal moment came in the semifinals, where striker Sebastien Haller’s heroics secured a crucial win against DR Congo, propelling the team to the grand finale against arch-rivals Nigeria.

Yesterday at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, Ivory Coast delivered a solid performance. Despite conceding an early goal to Nigeria’s William Troost-Ekong, the Ivorians staged a remarkable comeback, with Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller finding the back of the net to clinch a historic victory.

The triumph marked Ivory Coast’s third AFCON title, drawing them level with Nigeria.

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