AFCON: Ivory Coast Lifts The Africa Cup of Nations Trophy Defeating Nigeria On Home Soil
Ivory Coast won the Africa Cup of Nations final on February 11, 2024, defeating Nigeria 2-1 at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara. It was a highly anticipated match that ended with Ivory Coast emerging as the champions.
Nigeria took the lead in the 38th minute with a goal from their captain, William Paul Troost-Ekong. However, Ivory Coast managed to equalise in the second half through Franck Yannick Kessié’s goal in the 62nd minute. The winning goal came from Sébastien Romain Teddy Haller in the 81st minute, securing the victory for Ivory Coast.
The match was intense, with both teams fighting hard for the win. Ivory Coast’s resilience and determination paid off as they were able to come from behind and snatch the victory. The fans in the stadium were ecstatic, celebrating their team’s success.
Simon Adingra, who provided two assists for Cote d’Ivoire in the final, was named the TotalEnergies Man of the Match for the final match. Despite not winning the tournament, Nigerian captain William Troost-Ekong received the TotalEnergies Best Player award.
Emilio Nsue Lopez from Guinea-Bissau was awarded the PUMA Golden Boot for scoring the most goals in the competition, with a total of five goals.
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South Africa’s goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams, was voted the Ecobank Best Goalkeeper for his exceptional performances, including saving four penalties against Equatorial Guinea and two against DR Congo.
In addition to finishing third in the tournament, South Africa’s team received the Fair Play Air Cote d’Ivoire Team award for their sportsmanship and fair play throughout the competition.
During the ceremony, the winner’s trophy was presented to Cote d’Ivoire’s captain, Max Gradel, by Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, CAF President Dr. Patrice Motsepe, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Togolese football legend Emmanuel Adebayor brought the trophy onto the stage.
The ceremony also included the official handover of the CAF Flag to the Royal Moroccan Federation, symbolizing the transfer of hosting responsibilities for the 2026 competition to Morocco.
Here is the complete list of winners for the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations:
– Winner: Cote d’Ivoire
– Finalist: Nigeria
– Third Place: South Africa
– Fourth Place: Democratic Republic of Congo
– TotalEnergies Best Player: William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria)
– PUMA Golden Boot: Emilio Nsue Lopez (Guinea-Bissau)
– Best Ecobank Goalkeeper: Ronwen Williams (South Africa)
– Fair-Play Air Cote d’Ivoire Team: South Africa
After the match, there were celebrations both on and off the field. The fans in Ivory Coast were overjoyed with their team’s triumph, and the streets were filled with cheering supporters. It was a moment of national pride and unity.
Despite a slow start in the group stage and changes in their coaching staff, Ivory Coast were able to find their rhythm and demonstrate their true potential when it mattered the most.
The trophy was presented to Ivory Coast by the president of the country, with FIFA President Gianni Infantino and CAF President Patrice Motsepe also in attendance.
The flag of the Confederation of African Football was handed over to Morocco, which will host the 2025 AFCON.
The match statistics reflected Ivory Coast’s dominance, with a 62% share of possession and 18 goal attempts compared to Nigeria’s 5. Haller’s winning goal was the highlight of his personal journey, having battled cancer and returned to the game.
Ivory Coast, with three AFCON titles to their name (previously winning in 1992 and 2015), proved themselves to be worthy champions once again.