The Côte d’Ivoire national team won the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations by defeating Nigeria in the final match with a score of 2-1.
The Côte d’Ivoire national team became the first team to win the championship title on home soil since Egypt in the 2006 edition.
But the scenario of the Côte d’Ivoire national team winning the tournament was very strange and strange, as it seemed like a person who returned from the dead and achieved unimagined success.
The beginning was promising, with Côte d’Ivoire defeating Guinea Bissau in the opening match with two unanswered goals.
But the Elephants team quickly received a shock and was defeated in the second round of the group stage by Nigeria with an unanswered goal.
The biggest shock came when Côte d’Ivoire lost 4-0 at home to Equatorial Guinea, making it very close to bidding farewell to the tournament.
But fate and strange coincidences will lead to Côte d’Ivoire qualifying as the best of three with 3 points from the first group.
The Ivorian Football Federation, in light of what happened in the group stage, did not wait long and decided to dismiss French coach Jean-Louis Gasquet from coaching the Elephants national team while relying on national coach Emers Faye.
From here began a legendary journey for the Côte d’Ivoire national team, as it succeeded in overcoming Senegal, the defending champion, despite falling behind in the result, as it snatched a 1-1 draw in the final minutes, and qualified on penalties.
In the quarter-finals, the Ivorian team was able to overcome the Mali obstacle despite playing with 10 players for most of the match, and was victorious in the final moments of extra time.
In the semi-finals, the Côte d’Ivoire team was able to overcome the Democratic Republic of Congo 1-0, then achieved the title by defeating Nigeria, becoming the first team to qualify as the best third in the history of the tournament, and then win it.
The interesting thing is that the scorer of the victory goal was Sebastien Haller, who suffered from malignant cancer a year ago and succeeded in overcoming it and returning again and shining, whether with his club Dortmund or his country.