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Ivory Coast win third AFCON


Ivory Coast win third AFCON

Sebastien Haller scored the winning goal nine minutes from the end as hosts Ivory Coast claimed a third Africa Cup of Nations title with a 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the final at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan on Sunday (Feb 11).

It was a triumph born from adversity as the Ivorians had scraped out of their group following two defeats, including a humiliating 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea, before finding their form in the knockout rounds with a never-say-die attitude that led them to the title.

William Troost-Ekong’s header gave Nigeria a first-half lead as he rose to meet Samuel Chukwueze’s flick-on from a corner, but Franck Kessie equalised just past the hour-mark after being left unmarked at the back post from a set-piece.

The Ivorians had to come from behind several times in the tournament and did it again when Haller steered Simon Adingra’s cross into the net, much to the delight of his rookie coach Emerse Fae, who had started the tournament as assistant to Frenchman Jean-Louis Gasset, who was sacked after the pool stage.

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