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Nigeria vs Ivory Coast: Nigeria and Ivory Coast Set for AFCON 2023 Final Showdown

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast: Nigeria and Ivory Coast Set for AFCON 2023 Final Showdown

The much-anticipated final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will see Nigeria take on Ivory Coast at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan on Sunday, February 11, 2024, at 20:00 GMT.

Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro downplayed his team’s favorite status for the final, emphasizing the significance of the match against Ivory Coast. Despite Nigeria’s victory against Ivory Coast in the group stage, Peseiro stressed the equal chances both teams have in the final.

Peseiro highlighted the importance of Victor Osimhen, the African footballer of the year, in the Nigerian squad, praising his selfless contribution to the team despite his lack of goals in the tournament.

On the other hand, Ivory Coast’s interim coach Emerse Fae, who replaced the outgoing Jean-Louis Gasset, has led his team to the final despite facing challenges along the way. Fae’s tactical adjustments and the team’s mental resilience have been instrumental in their journey to the final.

Both teams boast key players to watch. For Nigeria, Ademola Lookman and William Troost-Ekong have been standout performers, while Ivory Coast relies on the likes of Sebastian Haller, Simon Adingra, and Franck Kessie for inspiration.

In terms of form, Nigeria enters the final with a perfect record, winning all their previous matches, while Ivory Coast has shown resilience after initial setbacks, securing crucial victories in the latter stages of the tournament.

With a prize money of $7 million for the champions and $4 million for the runners-up, the stakes are high for both teams.

As Nigeria prepares for the final, Harrison Jalla, Chairman of the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN), highlighted the leadership qualities of William Troost-Ekong and Victor Osimhen, considering them perfect leaders for the Super Eagles squad. Jalla expressed confidence in Nigeria’s ability to secure their fourth AFCON title, echoing the sentiments of many fans ahead of the final showdown.

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