PAP/EPA / LEGNAN KOULA / In the photo: Sebastien Haller became the hero of his national team in the final match of the African Cup of Nations
For the third time in history, Côte d'Ivoire won the African Cup of Nations. In the final match, the team led by Emers Fay beat Nigeria 2-1, with the decisive goal scored by Sebastien Haller, who had battled cancer a year ago.
Years 1992, 2015 and 2024. The Ivory Coast national team won the most important match of the year on the African continent and won the third African Cup of Nations in history.
Until the end of the first half, there was no sign of such a scenario, because Nigeria were ahead and were the better team. William Troost-Ekong jumped to the top of the penalty area after receiving a cross from a corner kick and almost shot it directly into the penalty area.
But after changing sides, the picture of the game changed 180 degrees. WKS clearly went on the attack and worked hard to get the win. There were a lot of situations. Franck Kessie equalized after a corner kick, and twenty minutes later there was euphoria in the stands of Abidjan as Sebastien Haller scored a goal.
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Didier Drogba, who was sitting in the stands, was unable to control his emotions. He ran, jumped, and waved his arms. Everyone witnessed this meeting.
However, for Haller, such a match has special meaning. Moments after his move to Borussia Dortmund (in the summer of 2022), he was diagnosed with a malignant testicular tumor. He underwent surgery and underwent chemotherapy. He had to leave football for several months. In January 2023, he returned and is now a national hero.
Meanwhile, WKS avenged a loss to Nigeria in the group stage. Then it turned out that the rivals were better (1:0), but in the final the result was completely different.
The road to this final was by no means paved with roses. They were able to qualify from the group with only three points. In the 1/8 finals there was a victory over Senegal on penalties, and in the 1/4 finals extra time was needed against Mali. The semi-final match against the Democratic Republic of Congo was “only” 1-0. But in the final, the team showed its character, made up for the losses after a poor first half, and can now celebrate.
Nigeria – Ivory Coast 1-2 (1-0)
1:0 William Troost-Ekong 38'
1:1 Franck Kessie 62'
1:2 Sebastien Haller 81'
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