AFCON 2023: Finidi George Highlights Two Positives From Nigeria’s Campaign in Ivory Coast

AFCON 2023: Finidi George Highlights Two Positives From Nigeria’s Campaign in Ivory Coast

Ero Samson
updated at February 24, 2024 at 8:11 PM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
Franck Kessié logo
F. Kessié
Al-Ahli SFC logoMIvory Coast logo
William Troost-Ekong logo
W. Troost-Ekong
PAOK Saloniki logoDNigeria logo
Sébastien Haller logo
Borussia Dortmund logoFIvory Coast logo
  • The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations ended with Ivory Coast clinching the title
  • The Super Eagles of Nigeria were one of the best teams of the tournament
  • Finidi George has identified two positives that Nigeria took from the showpiece

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) wrapped up with a thrilling final between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and host nation, Ivory Coast.

The enthralling contest featured a flurry of goal-mouth actions, including a first-half goal from Nigeria's vice-captain, William Troost-Ekong.

AFCON, Nigeria, Osimhen, Finidi, Ivory Coast
Evan Ndicka competes with Victor Osimhen during the Africa Cup of Nations final between Nigeria and Ivory Coast. Image: MB Media.
Source: Getty Images

However, the thrilling contest would wrap up in an even more pulsating manner, with second-half strikes from midfielder Franck Kessie, and forward, Sebastien Haller, overturning Nigeria's early advantage, and clinching victory for Emerse Fae's side.

Nonetheless, despite the bitter disappointment of defeat for the Nigerian contingent, assistant coach, Finidi George, has chosen to highlight the positives from the tournament in Ivory Coast, stressing two notable achievements of the three-time Cup of Nations winners.

Finidi George on Nigeria's AFCON campaign

In an interview with media outlet, the 52-year-old chose to focus on the positives the team had achieved at the tournament before discussing the disappointment of the final.

Emphasising these positives, the former Real Betis star noted the team's significant improvement since the beginning of the competition.

"One key improvement is the stability in the goalpost and having a clear starting eleven. Before the tournament, we were experimenting with different players.
Now, we have a settled formation and a group of players who can execute it effectively. I believe that's a major positive.
Looking at the Super Eagles now, you can confidently predict the starting lineup. These are the two main takeaways for me from the tournament."

The words of the assistant coach resonate with many stakeholders within the Nigerian football space.

Nonetheless, it remains to be seen if Jose Peseiro’s team can build on the success recorded at the showpiece.

Finidi explains why Nigeria lost AFCON final

Sports Brief in another report stated that Super Eagles assistant coach, Finidi, explained why Nigeria lost the AFCON final against Ivory Coast.

The 52-year-old stressed the fact that Nigeria became defensive after scoring the opener in the final. Finidi concluded by emphasising the impact the home crowd had on the fixture.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).