As the Super Eagles of Nigeria face off against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in the African Cup of Nations final today, it marks the 16th competitive encounter between the two sides.
In fact, history favours Nigeria against Cote d’Ivoire, but history does not play football. Côte d’Ivoire are the host of the tournament and they will be buoyed by a vociferous crowd of supporters, coupled with their newfound form after the group stage.
Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire have met 15 times before today. The Super Eagles have won eight of such meetings, with the Elephants winning five. The two sides have only drawn twice during their encounters.
Most of their encounters have been either at AFCON qualifier or AFCON tournament and world cup qualifiers.
Their last meeting was in the group stage of this tournament when the Nigerian side ran away with a lone goal scored from the penalty spot by Williams Troost-Ekong.
Nigeria also pipped Cote d’Ivoire 1-o in an international friendly in January 2016, but lost 0-1 to Cote d’Ivoire in an international friend in January 2015.
At the qualifier for the 2015 AFCON in July 2013, the Super Eagles mauled Cote d’Ivoire at home 4-1. The returned leg that same month saw Cote d’Ivoire winning 2-0 in Abidjan.
In the 2013 AFCON tournament, Nigeria knocked out Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 in the quarter-final and went on to win the tournament.
The two sides also met at the World Cup qualifier in 1993. Cote d’Ivoire won the first leg 2-1 in Abidjan but Nigeria won the returned leg 4-1 in Lagos.
At the 1990 AFCON in Algeria, the Super Eagles beat the Elephants by a lone goal and went on the reach the final of the tournament.
But at the Nations Cup hosted by Nigeria in 1980, the two sides played a goalless draw. They also played 2-2 draw at the 1977 World Cup qualifier in Abidjan. Nigeria won the first leg 4-0 in Lagos.