Ivory Coast lift AFCON 2023 title after comeback win over Nigeria
Ivory Coast scored two goals in the second half
Moses Simon was left on the bench by Jose Peseiro. AC Milan’s Samuel Chukweze took his place in the starting 11. Zaidu Sanusi also replaced Bright Osayi-Samuel in the defence. Ivory Coast made two changes and both were defensive. Willy Boly and Wilfred Singo gave way to Serge Aurier and Odlon Kossounou.
The hosts took advantage of the home support and began the half with a bit of momentum. Things heated up between Victor Osimhen and Evan N’Dicka while contesting for an aerial ball. The referee took care of the situation and the play continued.
Nigeria went ahead in the 38th minute. William Troost-Ekong scored from a corner after a deflected aerial ball came around his head. The team captain converted the opportunity and the Super Eagles lead at the end of the first half.
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Ivory Coast were searching for a breakthrough in the second half. They tested the goalkeeper on 2-3 occasions. Just above the hour mark, the Elephants won a corner. Franck Kessie headed the ball into the back of the net to level the score.
The host nation continued its attacking momentum and very finally paid off in the 81st minute. Simon Adingra showed some trickery on the left flank and delivered a cross into the penalty box. Sebastien Haller got to the end of the cross and scored with an acrobatic finish. This turned out to be his second winner in as many games. Adingra was named as the man of the match.
Ivory Coast defended their lead well and won their third AFCON title. The Nigerian hearts were broken and they had to settle for second place.
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