iexclusivenews – The Africa Cup of Nations witnessed a historic comeback and a fairytale ending on Sunday evening, as Ivory Coast defied the odds to defeat Nigeria 2-1 in the final held in a pulsating Abidjan stadium.
This victory marks the Elephants’ third AFCON title, their first since 2015, and solidifies their status as continental giants.
Haller the Hero, Kessie Sparks Resurgence:
The match saw Nigeria strike first through a Troost-Ekong header from a corner, sending Super Eagles fans into a frenzy.
However, the second half witnessed a dramatic shift. Franck Kessie equalized with a powerful header in the 62nd minute, igniting the Ivorian crowd and setting the stage for a thrilling climax.
Sebastian Haller, who returned to football after battling cancer, emerged as the unlikely hero, nodding home the winning goal in the 81st minute to send the stadium into raptures.
A Tournament of Redemption:
Ivory Coast’s journey to the title was nothing short of remarkable.
After a shaky start, including a group stage defeat to Nigeria, they defied expectations by eliminating giants like Senegal, Mali, and DR Congo in the knockout stages.
This victory represents a triumph of resilience and a testament to the team’s fighting spirit.
Final Score: Ivory Coast 2-1 Nigeria
Goalscorers: Ivory Coast – Kessie (62′), Haller (81′), Nigeria – Troost-Ekong (47′)
Venue: Stade National Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan
Beyond the Final:
This AFCON triumph holds immense significance for Ivory Coast. It marks their first title as hosts since 1992, signifying a return to the forefront of African football.
For Haller, the victory adds another layer of inspiration to his incredible story, proving that determination and perseverance can overcome even the toughest challenges.
Join the Conversation:
The AFCON 2024 final leaves the continent buzzing with excitement! Share your thoughts, celebrate the champions, and relive the dramatic moments using the hashtag #AFCON2024 on social media.