By Edwin Kule
Ivory Coast 2-1 Nigeria
Ivory Coast defied all odds, clinching the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Sunday, February 11, 2024.
In a game played at the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe in Abidjan, Ivory Coast registered a hard-fought 2-1 victory in the entertaining tournament final.
The hosts kicked off with great pace as Simon Adingra gave Nigeria’s backline a lot of trouble.
Defender William Troost Ekong powerfully nodded Nigeria into the roof of the net in the 38th minute.
Four minutes into the second stanza, Max Gradel latched onto a loose ball in front of the goal, but Nigeria’s backline blocked it out for a corner kick.
Yannick Kessie restored parity for the hosts after heading Adingra’s corner kick into the back of the net in the 62nd minute.
From that point on, both sides made changes, introducing fresh legs to try and kill the game.
Lanky forward, Sebastien Haller produced a moment of magic by tapping home from close range in the 82nd minute. Haller quickly guided Adingira’s delivery into the back of the net to set the crowd on fire.
The hosts were awarded $7 million (UGX 26 billion) as prize money after a 40% increase from the last edition’s accolade.