By Victor Kanayo
Host Ivory Coast on Sunday night emerged champions of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after defeating the Super Eagles of Nigeria, 2-1.
The victory marks a historic moment for the Elephants, who secured their third continental title in front of a passionate home crowd at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.
CoteAfter over 30 minutes of play without any goal, the deadlock was broken just before halftime when Nigerian captain William Troost-Ekong rose highest to head home from a corner, sending the Super Eagles fans into a frenzy.
Undeterred, the Elephants fought back in the second half. Midfielder Franck Kessié leveled the score in the 62nd minute silencing the Nigerian contingent and igniting the Ivorian celebrations.
The momentum shifted decisively to the home side, and their dominance culminated in an 81st-minute goal from striker Sébastien Haller, who capitalised on a defensive error to put the Elephants ahead.
Despite valiant efforts in the dying minutes, the Super Eagles were unable to find an equaliser, leaving the Ivorian players, staff, and fans to erupt in jubilant celebration.
While Nigeria’s dream of a fourth AFCON title remains unfulfilled, they can hold their heads high after a spirited performance throughout the tournament.
Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines