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Ivory Coast clinches third AFCON title with victory over Nigeria

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Ivory Coast has now become the first country since Egypt in 2006 to win the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) as host nation after they beat Nigeria on Sunday night.

Once again, Sebastien Haller was the hero for the Elephants who came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory.

The hosts, who lost two of their group-stage matches, sacked their head coach Jean-Louis Gasset after they were hammered 4-0 by Equatorial Guinea, leaving them on the brink of elimination.

Ivory Coast, who qualified as one of the best third placed teams, then appointed their assistant coach, 40-year-old Emerse Faé, as the caretaker coach starting from the round of 16.

Emerse Fae’s first game saw the Ivorians pull off a penalty-shootout victory and a 122nd-minute winner, booking an improbable place in the final.

From the blast of the whistle, Ivory Coast were very much the better side in the opening 45 minutes, but William Troost-Ekong’s header against the run of play gave Nigeria the advantage at the break.

Franck Kessié powered home a header from a set piece in the 60th minute of the game when he was unmarked at the back post after Adingra’s corner.

The Borussia Dortmund man, who had also scored the semi-final winner just 13 months after returning from testicular cancer, completed the turnaround for Ivory Coast with ten minutes remaining as he flicked a brilliant finish into the far corner, after yet more superb work from Brighton young star Simon Adingra.

Ivory Coast built on their two Nations Cup victories in 1992 and 2015, becoming the first tournament hosts to win since Egypt in 2006 and also one of the ten teams to ever host and win the competition.

List of AFCON Awards:

Best Player: William Ekong (Nigeria)

Best Keeper: Ronwen Williams (South Africa)

Best Coach: Emerse Fae (Cote d’Ivoire)

Best Young Player: Simon Adingra (Cote d’Ivoire)

Top Scorer:

Emilio Nsue (Equatorial Guinea), 5 goals
Gelson Dala (Angola), 4 goals
Mostafa Mohamed (Egypt), 4 goals

Fair Play: South Africa

Source: A1Radioonline.com101.1Mhz|Pius Asack|Ghana

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