The Elephants of Ivory Coast have beaten the Super Eagles of Nigeria to win the 2023 AFCON in regulation time.
After finishing third in Group A and managing to qualify for the round of 16 as one of the four best losers, Ivory Coast turned their virtues around to win their third AFCON.
Ivory Coast had a terrible run in the group stage of the tournament in which they recorded two defeats and just one win. They lost 1-0 to the Super Eagles of Nigeria and 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea.
Due to their poor run of games in the group stage, the Ivorian side sacked their French tactician Jean-Louis Gasset and replaced him with Emerse Fae.
The 40-year-old former Ivorian footballer turned the Elephants around and led them to the final of the 2023 AFCON in great style.
During the 2023 AFCON final, the Ivorian side completely outplayed the Super Eagles of Nigeria. The hosts recorded 63 percent of the ball possession, making 409 passes. The home side had 18 shots, 8 of which was on target.
While the Super Eagles recorded just 37 percent of the ball possession, recording 5 shots, one of which was on target.
Despite that, Nigeria scored the opening goal in the 38th minute via a header from William Troost-Ekong after a crossing. The Super Eagles went into the second half with the slim lead.
In the second half, Ivory Coast continued to dominate the game as the Super Eagles continued to play defensive football while continually launching forward in futility.
In the 62nd minute, Franck Kessié scored the equaliser via a header, while Sébastien Haller scored the winner in the 81st minute to gift the Elephants a 2-1 win and the 2023 AFCON title.