In a thrilling semi-final showdown at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Ivory Coast clinched a hard-fought 1-0 triumph against DR Congo, securing their place in the tournament’s final.
The match, characterized by tense moments and resilient defense from both sides, saw Borussia Dortmund striker Sebastian Haller emerge as the hero with his decisive goal in the 65th minute.
Despite a cautious start from both teams, Haller’s powerful volley over DR Congo’s goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi proved to be the game-changer. Earlier, Haller had narrowly missed a crucial opportunity with an unmarked header just before halftime, heightening the tension on the field.
The victory propels Ivory Coast, under interim boss Emerse Fae, towards a shot at their third continental title. Their journey to the final had been fraught with challenges, including the dismissal of Jean-Louis Gasset and late-game heroics securing their progression through the group stage.
Awaiting Ivory Coast in the final is three-time champion Nigeria, who secured their spot after defeating South Africa 4-2 on penalties following a dramatic 1-1 draw. The stage is now set for an electrifying encounter as Ivory Coast and Nigeria vie for the prestigious Africa Cup of Nations title in Abidjan on Sunday at 20:00 GMT.