Elephants of Ivory Coast trample on Super Eagles twice to stamp out hopes of grinding a fourth Nigerian AFCON win. The Eagles glided once into the Ivorian net to end the match 2-1 in favour of tournament hosts, Ivory Coast.
The Alassane Ouattara Stadium hosted the 2024 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final match between Nigeria and Ivory Coast. The Stadium, commonly known as the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé, is located in Ebimpé and Anyam in northern Abidjan, the capital.
It was an improbable run of luck for the host team which barely escaped early elimination at the group stages. They lost two of their group-stage matches and sacked their manager before pulling off subsequent magical victories to book a surprise place in the final.
In the final game, played on Sunday 11 February 2024, the Elephants were clearly dominant.
|Shots on target
It is the host country’s third win at the AFCON finals which incidentally ties the record of the Nigerian Eagles that they defeated last night.
The winning goals however came in the second half after Mauritanian referee Beida Dahane called for a break. Nigeria went on this break with a 1-0 advantage gained through William Troost-Ekong’s powerful header in the 38th minute.
The Elephants began the second half of the match in a purposeful manner. They showed determination to snatch victory from a Nigerian team that established a reputation for successfully defending narrow wins at the tournament.
Their perseverance paid off in the 62nd minute when Franck Kessie nodded in a powerful header from a set piece. The equaliser scaled up the desperation of both teams to produce a winner with their coaches making five substitutions apiece to help them achieve the objective.
It was Sebastian Haller that produced the magic for the hosts with nine minutes to spare in regular time. He flicked a brilliant pass from Simon Adingra into the far corner.
The Elephants thereafter denied Nigerians any opportunity to equalise and take the game to penalties, a feature of the preceding three semi final and third-place matches.
Confederation of African Football (CAF), managers of the tournament, saluted Nigeria’s impregnable defence by voting Eagles Captain Troost-Ekong as Player of the Tournament. The Eagles conceded only two goal in the run of play until they reached the final game of the tournament.
South Africa, eliminated by Nigeria in the semi finals, defeated Congo to win the bronze.
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