The clash between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire marks the second encounter of the tournament between these African powerhouses. Starting their campaign in Group A, Nigeria secured a 1-0 victory over the hosts, with the lone goal coming from Super Eagles’ captain William Ekong via a penalty kick.
Nigeria had recorded back-to-back victories against Ivory Coast while the last five meetings between these two sides have ended in three wins for the Super Eagles and two for the Elephants.
This final match is the eighth time in the Africa Cup of Nations. The Super Eagles have an upper hand in the tie with three wins. Two matches have gone in Ivory Coast’s favour and two matches have ended in a draw.
Here are the five talking points from the match;
(1) Sebastien Haller:
The Ivory Coast forward player showed why he was invited into the team, he has been a key part of the Champions success throughout the competition. He scored the only goal in the semi-final and the winning goal in the final.
(2) William Troost-Ekong:
The captain of the Super Eagles of Nigeria showed why he was chosen to lead the team into the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. Ekong scored the opening goal in the first half to give Nigeria the lead against the Ivorians, he scored three goals in the competition. He was named the best player of the tournament because of his heroic performance.
(3) Stanley Nwabali:
The Chippa United goalkeeper is one of the revelations for the Super Eagles at the 2023 edition of the AFCON. He was responsible for taking Nigeria to win the tournament following his heroic saves in games from the knock-out stages to the finals. However, he was to blame for the Ivorian’s first goal which was scored by Franck Kessie who found the back of the net from a corner kick.
(4) Franck Kessie:
The former AC Milan player has also been fantastic for the Ivorians, he started the comeback in the game against Nigeria. He wrote his name in the history books of the competition as the first player to score for Côte d’Ivoire in an African Cup of Nations final.
(5) Jose Peseiro
For all the good things that the Portuguese International has done in the history of the competition, the game against Ivory Coast showed some of his lapses that needed t to be worked upon. Peseiro”a decision to start Samuel Chukwueze ahead of Moses Simon.
The decision of the Portuguese International to leave Alex Iwobi on the pitch for a long time did not go well witlotlong of Nigerians.