Africa Sports

AFCON 2024: Ivory Coast defeat Nigeria, to win third title

AFCON 2024 Ivory Coast defeat Nigeria, to win third title

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations unfolded in Ivory Coast, offering a remarkable journey for the hosts from initial wobbly beginning to continental champions.

The Ivory Coast team, known as Les Elephants, overcame significant hurdles, including the dismissal of their coach and a shaky start in the group stage. Despite early setbacks, they surged past formidable opponents Senegal, Mali, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to secure a coveted spot in the final, setting the stage for a thrilling rematch against Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles demonstrated resilience throughout the tournament, holding Equatorial Guinea to a 1-1 draw before clinching narrow 1-0 victories over Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau. Their path to the final included a hard-fought 2-0 triumph against Cameroon and a tense 1-0 win over Angola, culminating in a dramatic penalty shootout victory against South Africa in the semifinals.

In the group stage clash between Ivory Coast and Nigeria, William Troost-Ekong’s penalty proved decisive, giving Nigeria a slender 1-0 victory despite Ivory Coast’s dominance in possession and attempts on goal.

Sebastien Haller
Sebastien Haller Courtesy CAF Online

The final encounter mirrored the group stage intensity, with Troost-Ekong putting Nigeria ahead at halftime. However, Ivory Coast staged a remarkable comeback, with Franck Kessie and the resilient Sebastien Haller showcasing their prowess to secure a thrilling 2-1 triumph at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

Sebastien Haller, who has defied cancer, emerged as the hero of the semifinal and final matches, delivering crucial goals to propel Ivory Coast to their third AFCON crown.

Summary of the happenings at Africa Cup of Nations

Africa Cup of Nations knockout round results

Round of 16

Jan. 27, 12pm: Angola 3-0 Namibia – Bouake

Jan. 27, 3pm: Nigeria 2-0 Cameroon – Abidjan

Jan. 28, 12pm: Equatorial Guinea 0-1 Guinea – Abidjan

Jan. 28, 3pm: Egypt 1-1 (7-8 PKs) DR Congo – San Pedro

Jan. 29, 12pm: Cape Verde 1-0 Mauritania – Abidjan

Jan. 29, 3pm: Senegal 1-1 (4-5 PKs) Ivory Coast – Yamoussoukro

Jan. 30, 12pm: Mali 2-1 Burkina Faso – Korhogo

Jan. 30, 3pm: Morocco 0-2 South Africa – San Pedro

Quarterfinal

Feb. 2, 3pm: DR Congo 3-1 Guinea – Abidjan

Feb. 2, 12pm: Nigeria 1-0 Angola – Abidjan

Feb. 3, 12pm: Mali 1-2 (AET) Ivory Coast – Bouake

Feb. 3, 3pm: Cape Verde 0-0 (1-2 PKs) South Africa – Yamoussoukro

Semifinal

Feb. 7, 12pm: Nigeria 1-1 (4-2 PKs) South Africa – Stade de la Paix, Bouake

Feb. 7, 3pm: Ivory Coast 1-0 DR Congo – Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan

Third place play-off

Feb. 10, 3pm: South Africa 0-0 (6-5 PKs) DR Congo – Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan

Final

Feb. 11, 3pm: Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast – Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan

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