Sebastian Haller’s late goal propelled Ivory Coast to a thrilling 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final, sealing their third continental title in front of jubilant home fans.
Nigeria took the lead through William Troost-Ekong’s powerful header, but Franck Kessie equalized for Ivory Coast midway through the second half. In the dying moments of the game, Haller flicked in Simon Adingra’s cross to complete a remarkable comeback and spark wild celebrations in Abidjan.
The win capped off a fairy tale journey for Ivory Coast, who overcame early setbacks and managerial changes to triumph on home soil. Interim coach Emerse Fae guided the team through a challenging campaign, culminating in a historic victory in the final.
Haller’s heroics added to the narrative of resilience, as the striker returned to the pitch after battling testicular cancer, showcasing his remarkable determination and talent.
Simon Adingra played a pivotal role in Ivory Coast’s success, providing the assists for both goals and delivering a standout performance throughout the match.
The victory marks Ivory Coast’s third AFCON title, making them the 12th host nation to claim the prestigious trophy. It also extends Nigeria’s disappointment in the final, as they suffer their fifth defeat in the showpiece event.
Overall, the match was a fitting conclusion to a thrilling tournament, characterized by drama, upsets, and memorable moments, with Ivory Coast emerging as worthy champions.