AFCON2024: Ivory Coast makes history with spectacular host and win

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Ivory Coast pulled off an incredible comeback to win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, besting Nigeria 2-1 in an exciting Abidjan final.

The Elephants’ victory as the tournament’s hosts was nothing short of miraculous, especially in light of their difficult road to the championship game after falling behind to the Super Eagles’ header from William Troost-Ekong.

In the knockout stages, they proved their tenacity with thrilling wins over Mali and Senegal, the reigning champions, highlighted by late equalizers that demonstrated the squad’s tenacity.

Ivory Coast players were behind after William Troost-Ekong’s strong header put the Super Eagles ahead against Nigeria in the decisive match.

But Franck Kessie’s timely equalizer gave the Elephants new life and made Haller’s momentous play possible.

Ivory Coast had already been inspired by Haller’s comeback from testicular cancer, and his game-winning goal in the finale closed out his incredible tale.

Nine minutes remained when Haller, following a cross from Simon Adingra, connected with the ball and flicked it into the net with elegance and precision. This caused wild celebrations throughout Abidjan and secured Ivory Coast’s third continental title.

The triumph not only solidified Ivory Coast’s position in football history but also heralded a new period of fortitude and resiliency for the country in West Africa.