• Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

By Osaro Matthew

Host nation, Côte d’Ivoire who qualified from the group stage of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations as best losers, finds themselves in the final last night after defeating DR Congo by a lone goal, platinumnewsng.com is reporting.

The Elephants who will face their Group A counterpart, the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the final, managed to amass 3 points from the group after defeating the whooping boys of the group, Guinea Bissau 2-0 in the opening match of the tournament.

Côte d’Ivoire were defeated by arch-rivals Nigeria in the second game with Troost Ekong converting from the spot. They were pummeled 4-0 by Group winners Equatorial Guinea in the final game of the group.

The two-time winners qualified for the round of 16 as the best losers of the group where they faced defending champions Senegal. They managed to defeat Senegal 4-5 in a penalty shootout. The match dragged into penalties after an 86th-minute equalizer from the spot by Kessie with Habib Diallo putting Senegal in front in the 4th minute.

It was a dramatic quarterfinal against one of the tournament’s favourites, Mali. The hosts found themselves a man down in the first half after the Egyptian referee Mohamed Adel gave Odilon Kossounou a second yellow card in the 43rd minute. A goal from Nene put Mali in front in the 71st minute but a 90-minute equalizer from Adingra took the game to extra time.

Ivory Coast defeated Mali with a last-minute goal in extra time from Oumar Diakite to take the host nation into the semi-finals to face DR Congo.

Emerse Fae’s side, with the whole nation behind them, defeated DR Congo by a goal to nil. The goal was scored by Sebastien Haller in the 65th minute from a Max Gradel assist to book their place in the final.

The host nation will face Nigeria who defeated South Africa on penalties to get to the final. With Nigeria defeating the host in the group stage, it is left to be seen if they will take their revenge on Sunday, February 11 by 9 pm Nigerian time, at the Stade Alassane Ouattara.

Jokanola Bolaji

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