Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire to play AFCON finals

NIGERIA’S Super Eagles will face the host nation Cote d’ Ivoire at the final of the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Sunday, February 11, 2024  at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara.

The teams which were grouped in  the tournament’s Group A had met at the group stage match which Nigeria won 1-0.

The host nation won only one of its three matches at the group stage, defeating Guinea-Bissau,1-0 and lost 4-0 to Equatorial- Guinea to garner three points, falling into the brink of not qualifying for the next round.

But it luckily swarmed through the murky water of elimination, emerging as one of the four best losers at the group stage to qualify for the next round. 

The next round of 16 pitted the team against the defending champion – Senegal. 

Despite hurriedly appointing a new coach, Emerse Fae, Côte d’Ivoire defeated Senegal 5-4 via penalties shootout after 1-1 draw in the regular time while the team edged Mali, 2-1 in the quarter-final to advance to the semi-finals.

In the semi-finals, the host country piped Democratic Republic of Congo 1-0, thanks to Sebastien Haller’s goal which fired them to the final.

Earlier before the clash between Cote d’Ivoire and DR Congo, Nigeria had secured a spot in the final after defeating South Africa, 4-2 via penalty shootout.

The match ended 1-1 after regular time.

Nigeria’s road to the final saw them scale through the group stage matches by winning Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau, 1-0 respectively with a 1-1 against Equatorial Guinea in the opening match to finish second in the  group with seven points.

At the round of/16, Nigeria defeated Cameroon, 2-0, thanks to Ademola Lookman’s brace, to zoom to the quarter-finals.

    The quarter-final match pitched the country against Angola, winning 1-0 with a lone goal by Lookman.

    In the semi-finals, it was a breathtaking encounter between the Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana as they both displayed high-class contest in a bid to book a spot in final.

    But after the regular time ended 1-1, Nigeria secured the ticket to the final, seeking to end 11 year wait of not winning the AFCON title.

    Both Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire will gun for the continental football showpiece glory on Sunday , February 11 as South Africa and DR Congo play the third-placed match on Saturday, February 10.

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