The 2023 AFCON was won by the Ivory Coast Elephants in regulation time, defeating the Nigerian Super Eagles.
Ivory Coast turned around and won their third AFCON after placing third in Group A and making it to the round of 16 as one of the four best losers.
During the tournament’s group stage, Ivory Coast had an awful run, recording two losses and just one victory. They suffered losses of 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea and 1-0 to the Nigerian Super Eagles.
The French strategist Jean-Louis Gasset was fired by the Ivorian team, and Emerse Fae took his place after they had a bad run of games in the group stage.
The 40-year-old former football player from Ivory Coast turned the elephants around and expertly guided them to the 2023 AFCON championship game.
The Ivorian team outperformed the Nigerian Super Eagles in the 2023 AFCON final. With 409 passes, the hosts had 63 percent of the ball control. Out of the 18 shots the home team took, eight were on goal.
The Super Eagles only had 37% of the ball possession, but they did manage five shots, one of which was on goal.
In spite of this, William Troost-Ekong’s header following a crossing gave Nigeria the lead in the 38th minute. With a narrow lead, the Super Eagles entered the second half.
Ivory Coast maintained its lead in the game in the second half as the Super Eagles played defensive football and kept trying in vain to get points.
Franck Kessié headed in the equalizer in the 62nd minute, and Sébastien Haller scored the winner in the 81st to give the Elephants a 2-1 victory and the 2023 AFCON championship.
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