Ivory Coast made history by becoming the first host country to win the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) since 2006. Their remarkable achievement was especially notable as they had only just qualified for the knockout stage as the fourth best third-placed team.
In the final, they secured a dramatic 2-1 victory against Nigeria, with Sebastien Haller scoring the late winner. This win marked Ivory Coast’s third continental title, adding to their previous triumphs in 1992 and 2015.
The match saw Nigeria take the lead with a goal from captain William Troost-Ekong, only to be equalized by Franck Kessie and eventually overtaken by Haller’s decisive goal. The victory sparked wild celebrations among the Ivorian supporters, as the team’s journey to the title had been filled with challenges and comebacks.
Ivory Coast’s success was a moment of redemption, especially for former captain Didier Drogba who had led the team to a final defeat in 2006. The team’s turnaround in fortunes was attributed to the coaching change mid-tournament, with Emerse Fae taking over and guiding the team to victory amidst difficult moments and tense matches.
The final victory was a significant achievement for Ivory Coast, and it solidified their place in AFCON history. The match itself was a tense and dramatic affair, culminating in Ivory Coast’s historic triumph.