Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast: Troost-Ekong’s strike not enough as Super Eagles suffer defeat in AFCON final

The Super Eagles surrendered a goal lead to lose to the Elephants in the continental competition.
Nigeria suffered a 2-1 loss to Ivory Coast in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations at Stade OlympiqueAlassane Ouattare on Sunday.
Super Eagles captain William Troost-Ekong got the opening goal of the game in the 38th minute before Franck Kessie equalised for Ivory Coast in the 62nd minute and Sebastian Haller notched in the deciding winner in the 81st minute to secure victory for the Elephants.

Road to the Final

The Super Eagles started the tournament by playing a 1-1 draw with Equitoria Guinea, a second-half strike from Victor Osimhen ensured they avoided a defeat after Ivan Salvador scored the opening goal. Peseiro’s Nigeria then secured a narrow victory over Ivory Coast with Troost-Ekong scoring the only goal of the match. Opas Sangate’s own goal helped the three-African champions to finish Group A without a loss, thus, nicked a place in the Round of 16. Nigeria continued the unbeaten run against Cameroon by securing a 2-0 win, with Ademola Lookman scoring both goals. Lookman scored his third goal in the tournament against Angola which was enough to help the West Africans progress into the semifinals. The heroic performance of goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali helped the Super Eagles to reach the final on penalties.
The road to the final for Ivory Coast was bumpy which led to the sack of Jean Louis Gasset following the unconvincing performances of the team in the group stage. The Elephants managed to secure a hard-fought victory over Senegal, Mali and DR Congo to reach the final.

How the Final was Lost and Won

The game started with both sides aiming to outwit each other and in the seventh minute, Ivory Coast’s Haller made an attempt on goal but his effort missed the target. Nigeria also pushed for a goal but that did not come until the 38th minute when Troost-Ekong’s header sailed into the net. Few minutes before halftime, Nigeria star, Osimhen suffered an injury and left the field of play briefly before returning. Seko Fofana struck a shot but did not trouble goalkeeper Nwabali.
Ivory Coast continued to strive for an equalising goal after the restart of the game which came in the 62nd minute through Franck Kessie after receiving an assist from Simon Adingra.The host country pushed for a lead, which came in the 81st minute when Haller’s effort beat goalkeeper Nwabali. Ivory Coast thus, secured the trophy after frustrating the efforts of Nigeria to level.

About Oluwagbenga Adewoye

Content creator with more than six years experience. I write on varieties of events, including sports. I like to write African stories from African perspective. I write on league games around the world. I love what I do.

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