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#AFCON2023: Ivory Coast makes history with spectacular host and win

In a stunning turnaround, Ivory Coast emerged victorious in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, defeating Nigeria 2-1 in a thrilling final in Abidjan.

As the host of the tournament, the Elephants’ triumph was nothing short of miraculous, especially considering their challenging journey to the final after going behind thanks to William Troost-Ekong header to give the Super Eagles the lead.

Their resilience shone through in the knockout stages, with dramatic victories over defending champions Senegal and Mali, marked by late equalizers that showcased the team’s fighting spirit.

In the final showdown against Nigeria, Ivory Coast players found themselves trailing after William Troost-Ekong’s powerful header gave the Super Eagles the lead.

However, Franck Kessie’s timely equalizer injected new life into the Elephants, setting the stage for Haller’s unforgettable moment.

Haller’s return from testicular cancer had already been a source of inspiration for Ivory Coast, and his decisive goal in the final added another chapter to his remarkable story.

With just nine minutes remaining, Haller connected with Simon Adingra’s cross, flicking the ball into the net with precision and grace, igniting wild celebrations across Abidjan and securing Ivory Coast’s third continental title.

The victory not only cemented Ivory Coast’s place in football history but also signalled a new era of strength and resilience for the West African nation.

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