AFCON and Asian Cup: How Home Field Advantage Helped Ivory Coast and Qatar in Their 2023 Title Runs

AFCON and Asian Cup: How Home Field Advantage Helped Ivory Coast and Qatar in Their 2023 Title Runs

Joel Reyes
updated at February 12, 2024 at 2:38 PM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
CAF AFCON
Africa
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
27
AFC Asian Cup logo
AFC Asian Cup
Asia
Qatar logo
Qatar
Qatar
27
Sébastien Haller logo
S.Haller
Borussia Dortmund logoFIvory Coast logo
Simon Adingra logo
S.Adingra
Brighton Hove Albion logoFIvory Coast logo
  • Ivory Coast defeated Nigeria in the final to win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
  • Qatar defeated Jordan in the final to win the 2023 AFC Asian Cup on Saturday
  • Ivory Coast and Qatar benefited from home-field advantage to win the titles

Ivory Coast and Qatar are champions once again.

They sent their home fans into a frenzy over the weekend with their wins in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations and AFC Asian Cup.

Sports Brief looks at how home-field advantage helped the two countries capture the title in the AFCON and Asian Cup.

Qatar, Ivory Coast, AFCON, AFCON 2023, Asian Cup, Sebastien Haller, Simon Adingra.
Qatar and Ivory Coast celebrate after winning the Asian Cup and AFCON. Images: Ismael Adnan Yaqoob/ Sia KAMBOU.
Source: Getty Images

Ivory Coast's miraculous run to AFCON title

Ivory Coast's championship run wouldn't be possible without the help of their home fans. The Elephants looked to be headed for an early exit after suffering back-to-back losses to Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.

Ghana's late collapse and Morocco's win in their final group matches helped Ivory Coast qualify for the Round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Ivory Coast and their fans made the most of that second chance as they embarked on one of the greatest title runs in AFCON history.

The Elephants trailed 1-0 against defending champions Senegal in their last-16 clash. Buoyed by their home support, Ivory Coast battled back, with Franck Kessie scoring a late equaliser in the 86th minute.

The match went into penalties, with Ivory Coast recording a 5-4 victory in the shootout to book their spot in the quarter-finals.

Ivory Coast encountered the same predicament in the last 8, trailing 1-0 after Nene Dorgeles scored a goal in the 71st minute.

The comeback kids struck again, though. The fans roared in delight when Simon Adingra scored a late equaliser in the 90th minute.

They once again showed their flair for the dramatic in the dying minutes of extra time, with Oumar Diakite's long strike finding the back of the net to give Ivory Coast a 2-1 win.

Sebastian Haller helped the Elephants secure a spot in the final, scoring the lone goal in the semi-final game against DR Congo.

They were once again tested in the championship match against Nigeria, with the Super Eagles grabbing a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute through a header by William Troost-Ekong.

There's no quit with Ivory Coast, though, and with thousands of fans backing them on Sunday night, a comeback seemed inevitable.

Kessie helped the Elephants draw level with a strike in the 62nd minute before Haller gave Ivory Coast a 2-1 lead with a superb goal in the 81st minute, per CNN.

Ivory Coast's win in the final was their third come-from-behind victory in the knockout rounds.

Qatar win back-to-back titles

Qatar successfully defended their Asian Cup title, and having home-field advantage this year definitely helped their cause.

The hosts benefited from several calls by match officials in the knockout rounds, scoring four penalty goals. Three of those came in the final against Jordan, with Akram Afif scoring all of the spot kicks in that contest, per The Guardian.

It was the first time a team competing in the Asian Cup final conceded three penalty kicks.

Drogba reacts to Ivory Coast equaliser

Sports Brief recently reported on Didier Drogba's reaction to Ivory Coast's equaliser on Sunday.

The Chelsea legend celebrated like crazy after Kessie tied the match for the hosts at 1-1.

That started the fightback for the Elephants, who won their third AFCON trophy against Nigeria.

Authors
Joel Reyes photo
Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at Sportsbrief.com with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.