For the first time ever, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana clinched the bronze medal in the 2023 AFCON after defeating DR Congo 6-5 on penalties in the 3rd place classification match.
Both sides squandered several goal-scoring opportunities during open play and settled for a draw after regular play before moving to penalties where goalkeeper Ronwen Williams stepped up to make two crucial saves and secure the win for South Africa.
Nigeria vs Ivory Coast AFCON Final preview
The much-anticipated AFCON final between Nigeria and Ivory Coast marks the eighth time these teams are locking horns at the tournament, with a record of three wins for Nigeria, two for Ivory Coast, and two draws.
Ivory Coast’s has had a not-so-jolly ride to the knockouts, requiring extra-time and penalties to secure their place in the final against Senegal and DR Congo, respectively.
However, they have managed to make it to the final under interim coach Emerse Faé, making them the first host nation to do so since Egypt in 2006.
Nigeria has looked a strong contender from the get-go, relying on their solid defence to make it this far, conceding only two goals in six matches (excluding penalties).
While they may not have blown anyone away, their steady progress and consistency make them a formidable opponent in the upcoming final.
In a nutshell, the Super Eagles of Nigeria will be in search of a fourth AFCON title after having played the finals 7 times while Ivory Coast will be looking to add a 3rd title after featuring in the finals 4 times excluding the current edition.
Source: Cameroon News Agency