AFCON 2023: Internet Reacts as Ivory Coast Qualify for Final at Expense of DR Congo

AFCON 2023: Internet Reacts as Ivory Coast Qualify for Final at Expense of DR Congo

Robert Abong'o
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF African Nations Championship logo
CAF African Nations Championship
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
Democratic Republic of the Congo logo
DR Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sébastien Haller logo
Borussia Dortmund logoFIvory Coast logo
  • AFCON 2023 hosts, Ivory Coast are through to the final round
  • Sebastien Haller scored an important goal in the 65th minute
  • Côte d'Ivoire face Nigeria in a AFCON title decider on Sunday

Sebastien Haller emerged as the hero for Ivory Coast, securing a 1-0 victory over the Democratic Republic of Congo in a thrilling AFCON 2023 semi-final clash.

Taking to the field for the first time in the tournament after recovering from an injury, the Borussia Dortmund star seized the moment in the 65th minute.

A precise connection with a cross from Max-Alain Gradel saw Haller's shot arc over the goalkeeper and into the net at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Ebimpe.

Ivory Coast players celebrate after winning at the end of the AFCON 2023 semi-final against DR Congo at Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan on February 7, 2024. Photo: Sia Kambou.
Ivory Coast are through to the AFCON 2023 final after beating DR Congo in the semi-final. Photo: Sia Kambou.
Source: Getty Images

Les Elephants' achievement marked a historic moment, as the two-time champions became the first host nation since Egypt in 2006 to reach the AFCON final, as reported by Opta Analyst.

Midfielder, Franck Kessie expressed delight on behalf of the team, considering their tumultuous journey.

"It gives us immense pleasure to qualify for the final of a home AFCON, especially after the run you all know we have had. We are so happy and so moved," said Kessie, as reported by France24.

Sports Brief captured some reactions on the internet following the team’s progression to the final.

Ivory Coast's victory was heartbreaking for DR Congo, who harboured dreams of reaching their first AFCON final since their championship win as Zaire in 1974.

The team's road to the final has been nothing short of miraculous. Interim coach, Emerse Fae, who took over from Jean-Louis Gasset after disappointing results in the group stage, described their journey as such.

Humiliated and facing elimination after a 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea, the team's resilience shone through. The game saw early drama, with DR Congo finding the net in the ninth minute, only for it to be disallowed for a foul.

DR Congo, determined to raise awareness of the violence affecting millions in their country's east, showcased their solidarity during the tournament.

Their protest during the national anthem aimed to shed light on the plight of their compatriots.

Nigeria set up AFCON 2023 final against Ivory Coast

Sports Brief also reported that Nigeria beat South Africa on penalties in the other AFCON 2023 semi-final.

The Super Eagles triumphed after a 1-1 draw after extra time in Bouake in the latest of many dramatic games.

Nigeria head coach, Jose Peseiro commented after the game that his players were overjoyed at the final result.

Robert Abong'o photo
Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team