AFCON Final: Can Nigeria do it again against Ivory Coast?

Africa Cup of Nations 2023 Final Preview: Super Eagles vs Ivory Coast - Tale of Resilience and Determination.

AFCON Final: Can Nigeria do it again against Ivory Coast?
It's the second coming of this fixture at the Africa Cup of Nations, will Ivory Coast get their revenge or will Nigeria do it again? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)


The Super Eagles of Nigeria will go up against the tournament hosts again on Sunday; it is the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

In arguably the best-ever AFCON, two sides with different challenges but interesting stories will square up in the final. Their journey to the grand finale was blighted by poor performances, and it’s a testament to their respective resilience that they’re both in the final.

The hosts, Ivory Coast, came in with high hopes, but after the euphoria of their opening day win died down at the altar of a loss to Nigeria, it got worse in their final group game as they were pummeled by Equatorial Guinea. They conceded four goals right in front of their fans without scoring any.

Ivorians had to rely on calculators for permutations. Helped by the trio of Zambia, Tunisia, and Ghana, Ivory Coast made it as the best third and went on to do the seemingly impossible; first, they beat Senegal despite conceding early, beat Mali even with nine men, and managed to beat Congo DR on penalties.

For the Super Eagles, they went into the tournament with little or no hope of going far. Many of the fans don’t have confidence in Jose Peseiro and his tactics, but the Portuguese have found a new goalkeeper in Stanley Nwabali and a defensive formula that has won them games.

The opener reflected the fears of the fans: a 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea, but the Super Eagles flew gallantly against Ivory Coast but failed to inspire with their performance against Guinea-Bissau in their final group game.

Nigeria grew into their strides; the way they beat Cameroon without hassles showed how far they have come, and they didn’t have a lot to worry about against Angola. Up until the end of the quarterfinal, Nigeria had only conceded one goal.

Nigeria thought they had a goal against South Africa to make it 2-0, but the goal was chalked off and a penalty was awarded to South Africa. It was clear that the South Africans were playing for penalties, but Nigeria came out on top, with Nwabali saving twice to help Nigeria reach the final.

The final will be a show of class, grit, and resilience. Both teams have enough motivation to go all the way and land the title; it would be the third for Ivory Coast, while Nigeria would make it the fourth. If they win, who will win the trophy?

Name

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Footballnus | Stay updated on the latest football news, analysis and betting predictions: AFCON Final: Can Nigeria do it again against Ivory Coast?
AFCON Final: Can Nigeria do it again against Ivory Coast?
Africa Cup of Nations 2023 Final Preview: Super Eagles vs Ivory Coast - Tale of Resilience and Determination.
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