Wednesday, February 7
*Nigeria (4)1-1(2) South Africa
*Ivory Coast 1-0 DRC Congo
Ivory Coast clinched a spot in the AFCON 2023 final after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over DR Congo.
Sebastien Haller emerged as the hero of the match, securing the decisive goal and propelling the hosts to the final showdown against 2013 champions Nigeria.
Haller’s pivotal moment came as he expertly redirected Nicolas Pepe’s cross into the net, sealing the fate of the Congolese team and igniting celebrations among the Ivorian supporters.
The defeat marked the end of the road for DR Congo, clearing the path for Ivory Coast’s eagerly anticipated clash in the final.
For Haller, the upcoming final against Nigeria carries a special significance, as it pits him against his former club. The Borussia Dortmund striker’s journey to this moment has been marked by resilience, having overcome testicular cancer to reclaim his place in the national team.
Now, with the opportunity to clinch AFCON glory on home soil, Haller and his teammates are determined to make history. Supported by the likes of Pepe, Haller will lead the charge as Ivory Coast aims to capture their first AFCON title since 2015.
Despite facing challenges earlier in the tournament, including a rocky start in the group stage, Ivory Coast has gained momentum with each match. Their victory over DR Congo, albeit hard-fought, has bolstered their confidence as they prepare to take on the formidable Nigerian squad.
While Nigeria promises to offer a formidable challenge, with Haller’s former teammates seeking redemption, the Ivorian striker’s current form suggests that he could be the catalyst for his team’s success.
As anticipation builds ahead of the final showdown, fans in Abidjan are brimming with excitement, hopeful for a historic triumph that would undoubtedly spark jubilation across the nation.