After almost missing out from Group A, the Elephants have booked a final date against Nigeria
Cote d’Ivoire, the AFCON 2024 host, have booked their place in the final with a 1-0 win over DR Congo.
Sébastien Haller scored the goal that took the Elephants into Sunday’s final against Nigeria.
Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria met in the group stage, where the Super Eagles won 1-0, courtesy of a penalty from William Troost-Ekong.
The host country’s path to the final was turbulent. It performed poorly in it’s group matches, defeated by Nigeria 1-O and humiliated by Equitorial Guinea 4-0.
It only sneaked through to the Round of 16 as one the four best losers who progressed. That was courtesy of it’s 2-0 defeat of Guinea Bissau on 13 January, the first day of the competition.
But after almost missing out from Group A, the Elephants overcame all other subsequent obstacles, defeating favourites Senegal 5-4 on penalties in the round of sixteen.
In the quarterfinal, it overwhelmed fellow West Africans Mali 2-1 in a dramatic fashion to set a semi-final date with its yesterday’s opponent DR Congo.
With its victory over the Central Africans, the Elephants have now booked another date against Nigeria.
The Super Eagles are determined to win this tournament and fly the trophy back to Nigeria’s glittering capital, Abuja, to at least give citizens, most of whom are facing severe economic difficulties, something to cheer.
However, the Ivorians are also holding on tightly to their host-to-win ambition. Eight host countries have won the tournaments at various times in the past. They are Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Ghana, Sudan and Ethiopia.
Football lovers around Africa and indeed worldwide are look forward to Sunday’s final for another interesting clash of football titans.