The Elephants of Ivory Coast have beat the Super Eagles of Nigeria to win the 2023 AFCON.
After finishing third in Group A and managing to qualify for the round of 16 as one of the four best losers, the Ivory Coast turned their virtues around to win the AFCON.
Nigeria looked set to repeat their 1-0 victory over the Ivorians here at the Ebimpe Olympic Stadium during the group stage when captain William Troost-Ekong, who had netted a penalty to decide that first meeting, rose to head in the opener late in the first half.
However, Franck Kessie equalised just after the hour mark, and Haller turned in Simon Adingra’s cross in the 81st minute to spark wild celebrations among the sea of orange in the Abidjan stands.
Ivory Coast’s success sees them add this year’s title to those claimed in 1992 and 2015, while this win also allows them to join Nigeria on three Cup of Nations triumphs overall.
Mixed reactions trail Super Eagles performance
Users of the social media application X took to their profiles late on Sunday to react to the performance of the Super Eagles in the just concluded 2023 CAF African Cup of Nations tournament.
The Eagles lost 2-1 to the Elephants of Ivory Coast, the host nation, in a tense, anticipated final match.
Two goals from Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller helped the Ivorians clinch their third AFCON trophy after a first-half nod from Nigerian captain William Troost-Ekong put the West Africans in the lead.
However, despite the loss, some netizens appreciated the Eagles for their outing, while others showed their disappointment in the players and the team’s coach.
Former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Saraki, @bukolasaraki tweeted, “Proud of our Super Eagles. We gave it our all, but today wasn’t our day. Keep your heads held high, boys. The entire nation is proud of you!”
@GloriousOm75825 wrote, “The Super Eagles are too relaxed without much passing to mark. The hosts deserve the cup. Without passion, there is no possession.”
@DanGadzama tweeted, “We didn’t play well, midfield was totally flat, imagine for a team playing defensive game. The players gave their all but the coach is not technically sound in my opinion.”