LIVE UPDATE: AFCON 2023 Grand Finale Between Hosts Ivory Coast and Nigeria

Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire are set for AFCON final showdown come Sunday. The two giants will battle on who gets the crown 2023 Africa Cup of Nations champion. 

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AFCON 2023: Who is Taking the Cup Come Sunday, Between Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire

The stage is set for an exhilarating conclusion to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023, with hosts Ivory Coast facing off against Nigeria in the grand finale. This tournament has been a rollercoaster of goals, unexpected twists, and relentless excitement, culminating in a final clash that will determine the continent’s champion.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles want their fourth continental crown, and the Ivorian team is looking to add to their victories in 1992 and 2015.

This march marks the second face-off in this year’s tournament. 24 days ago,Just 24 days prior, Nigeria clinched a 1-0 victory during the group stage, handing Ivory Coast their first home defeat by Nigeria in the process.

Ivory Coast is the first host nation to reach the final since Egypt in 2006. Usually, when the host team makes it to the final, they win – except for Nigeria in 2000.

Nigeria has remained unbeaten throughout the tournament and boasts the highest ranking among the teams, positioned sixth in Africa and 42nd globally. Meanwhile, Ivory Coast ranks eighth in Africa and 49th worldwide.

The Super Eagles demonstrated formidable strength during the group stages, securing seven points and maintaining a clean sheet throughout. Their journey to the final included victories over Cameroon, Angola, and South Africa in the knockout phases.

After losing to Nigeria, Ivory Coast had a tough time, even suffering a big 0-4 defeat by Equatorial Guinea. They barely made it to the next round as the best third-placed team. But then, they had incredible wins against Senegal and Mali before beating DR Congo in the semi-finals.

AFCON 2023: Who is Taking the Cup Come Sunday, Between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire

The excitement is building as Nigeria’s Super Eagles gear up to face Côte d’Ivoire in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Sunday, February 11. The clash follows two intense semi-final matches that determined the finalists.

Nigeria secured their spot in the final after a thrilling penalty shootout against South Africa, with Super Eagles’ goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali making crucial saves. William Troost-Ekong’s early goal was equalized by Bafana Bafana’s Reboho Mokoena, forcing the match into extra time. Former Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho sealed the victory with a winning penalty.

Côte d’Ivoire emerged victorious in their semi-final against DR Congo, with ex-West Ham United striker Sebastien Haller scoring the decisive goal in the 66th minute. The Elephants, thriving under the pressure of hosting the tournament, secured a 1-0 win and a spot in the final.

This will be the second encounter between Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire in the tournament, with Nigeria claiming a 1-0 victory in their previous group-stage clash. The Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé will host the 2023 AFCON final, originally intended for the 2021 edition. 

Nigeria, aiming for their fourth AFCON title, previously lifted the trophy in 1980, 1994, and 2013. Meanwhile, Côte d’Ivoire, led by Emerse Fae, seeks their third AFCON crown, with victories in 1992 and 2015.

The third-place playoff, featuring DR Congo and South Africa, is scheduled for Saturday, February 10, at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny.

As the tournament concludes, the final promises to be a riveting showdown between two nations with rich AFCON history. Football fans eagerly anticipate witnessing which team will emerge as the 2023 AFCON champions on Sunday.

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