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AFCON Final: Ivorian Journalist Identifies What Helped the Elephants Cage Nigeria’s Super Eagles
- The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations wrapped up with a thrilling final on February 11
- Les Elephants of Ivory Coast clinched victory with a win vs. Nigeria's Super Eagles
- An Ivorian journalist has explained why the host nation were able to go all the way
The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) culminated in an electrifying final showdown between the host nation, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria's Super Eagles.
With the trophy at stake, the highly anticipated clash between two West African powerhouses delivered on its promise, captivating fans with a relentless display of goal-scoring opportunities.
Nigeria surged into the lead in the 38th minute, courtesy of a goal from their captain, William Troost-Ekong.
However, defying the odds and expectations, Ivory Coast mounted an extraordinary second-half comeback.
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Goals from Franck Kessie and forward, Sebastien Haller, propelled them to a dramatic come-from-behind victory over the Super Eagles, securing the coveted title.
In the aftermath of this gripping encounter, an Ivorian journalist has shed light on the key factor behind Ivory Coast's triumph over Nigeria on that memorable night.
Ivorian journalist on AFCON final
In a conversation with Sports Brief, after his nation's triumph, journalist Yao Diby Mesmer touched on what drove Ivory Coast to victory.
Subtly emphasising the impact of the newly appointed manager, Emerse Fae, he remarked:
"I think Emerse Fae did a good job on the team, because when Equatorial Guinea defeated us [Ivory Coast], fans were very unhappy.
"However, when Fae was appointed, we got a new boost and strength to continue in the competition. The joy brought by the coach was something the team rode on, and now we are very happy, and we will party and party."
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Mesmer's words perfectly encapsulate the narrative that unfolded with Les Elephants throughout the tournament.
Ivory Coast emerged from a challenging group stage to secure their first AFCON title in nine years, defeating a Nigerian side they had previously lost to earlier in the tournament.
Williams shines for South Africa
Sports Brief also reported on Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams, seeing South African claim bronze at the AFCON with his heroic performance against DR Congo.
The 32-year-old saved two spot kicks, including a crucial one against Chancel Mbemba, to clinch victory for Hugo Broos’ side and was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament.