Sebastien Haller scores late winner as Ivory Coast beat Nigeria 2-1 in AFCON 2023 final

Published on: 11 February 2024
Sebastien Haller scores late winner as Ivory Coast beat Nigeria 2-1 in AFCON 2023 final
Sebastien Haller scores late winner as Ivory Coast beat Nigeria 2-1 in AFCON 2023 final

Ivory Coast made history by winning the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title, defeating Nigeria 2-1 in a thrilling final match at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

The Elephants' victory marked their third African title and their first since 2015.

The match started off with both teams creating chances, but it was Nigeria's William Ekong who opened the scoring in the first half with a powerful header.

However, Ivory Coast's Franck Kessie levelled the score shortly after halftime with a brilliant header of his own.

The game remained intense, with both teams pushing for the winning goal.

It wasn't until the 81st minute that Ivory Coast's Sebastian Haller scored the decisive goal, securing the AFCON title for his team.

Haller, who had recovered from cancer last year, was overcome with emotion as he celebrated the goal with his teammates.

The victory was a testament to the resilience of the Ivory Coast team, who had faced adversity earlier in the tournament.

After a disappointing 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea in the group stage, the team's campaign seemed to be over. However, interim coach Emerse Fae inspired a spirited fightback, leading the team to the final.

Fae's leadership and the team's determination paid off, as they claimed the AFCON title on home soil.

The victory was met with jubilation among the Ivorian fans, who had packed the stadium to cheer on their team.

For Haller, the goal was a personal milestone, as it marked his first major tournament victory.

The striker had previously played for clubs in France and Germany but had never experienced success on the international stage.

His performance in the AFCON has solidified his place as one of the top strikers in African football.

Overall, Ivory Coast's victory in the 2023 AFCON is a testament to the power of perseverance and teamwork.

Despite facing challenges throughout the tournament, the Elephants were able to come together and achieve their ultimate goal.

The victory will go down in history as one of the greatest moments in Ivorian football and will inspire future generations of players to work towards achieving similar success.

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