In a nail-biting finale at the 2023 CAF African Cup of Nations on Sunday, the host nation, Ivory Coast, emerged victorious, securing a 2-1 triumph over the formidable Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller showcased their prowess with two crucial strikes, effectively overturning Troost-Ekong’s early opener.
The first half of the game unfolded with a gripping display of skill and determination by Ivory Coast, commanding possession with six attempts on goal, half of which found their mark. In the 8th minute, Simon Adingra missed a golden opportunity to score, sending his shot over the crossbar.
The intensity heightened as Franck Kessie sought medical attention in the 10th minute, casting uncertainty over the extent of his injury.
A 14th-minute corner from Max Gradel was skillfully defended by the Nigerian side, while a 27th-minute foul by Victor Osimhen drew a yellow card for Coach Jose Peseiro. Goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili’s heroics in the 34th minute denied Simon Adingra’s attempt, prompting a corner.
Nigeria’s captain, William Troost-Ekong, soared above an Ivorian defender seven minutes before halftime, nodding the ball into the top-left corner. Seko Fofana’s long-range attempt in added time was deftly saved by Nwabili, ensuring a 1-1 scoreline at the break
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