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Ivory Coast defeat Nigeria to become AFCON champions.

  • reporter 

Host nation Ivory Coast win the African Cup of Nations for the second time in their history in a thoroughly deserved win against Nigeria. It was Sebastian Haller who scored the winner in the 80 minutes after Haller getting on the end of a cross from Simon Adingras and putting the ball into the top right corner of the net. 

The first big chance for Ivory coast came in the 6th minute of the game when Simon Adingra crosses the ball from the left-hand side of the pitch, but Sebastian Haller couldn’t manage to get onto the end of the cross. 

Ivory coast was the team who were dominating the first 10 minutes as Max Gradel crossed the ball into box, but Calvin Bassey managed to clear the ball out for a corner. The corner led to the ball being cleared to the edge of the box, but Sesko Fofana couldn’t test the Nigerian keeper. 

First yellow of the game but it goes to the Nigerian manager who was complaining to the fourth official as he believed the referee made the wrong decision as Victor Osimhen beats Frank Kessie to the header, but the referee gave it as a foul.   

Another chance for Ivory coast as Adingra is played in on goal by Kessie however the Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwaballi was there to pull off a great save to prevent Ivory coast making it 1-0.  

Nigeria managed to score with their first attempt on target of the game, and it came from a corner as William Troost Ekong towers over Serge Aurier to loop his header of the Ivorian keeper and into the back off the net.  

Ivory Coast had a chance to equalsie in the 50th minute of the game as Nwaballi palms out the first shot from Adingra into the feet of Aurier but the ball gets deflected, and the Nigerian keeper manages to claim the ball.  

A var check for Ivory Coast in the 51st as Gradel takes on Zaidu and the player gets clipped on the foot, but VAR says no  

First yellow cards for both teams as Aurier and Nwaballi for arguing with each other over the potential penalty. 

Nigeria made their first subs of the game in the 55th minute as Samuel Chukwueze came off for Moses Simon. 

Another big chance for Ivory Coast as Adingra chipped the ball across the box to Kessie who was unmarked, but he managed to head the ball straight at the goalkeeper. 

Ivory Coast managed to get the goal that they deserved, and it came from a corner with Adingra crossing the ball into the box and Kessie makes a darting run towards the back post and heads the ball into the ground and into the net.  

Nigeria with their 3rd shot of the game in the 68th minute as they had a free kick which was crossed in by Moses Simon and Troost Ekong gets onto the end of the cross but heads the ball over the crossbar.  

Ivory coast made their first substitutions of the game as Max Gradel comes off for Wilfred Singo and Captain Serge Aurier comes off for Oumar Diakite.  

An audacious attempt from Ivory coast as Adingra heads the ball back into the box and Sebastian Haller went for an overhead kick, but the ball goes just wide. 

Ivory Coast managed to get a late goal in the 80th minute as Adingra crossed the ball into box and Haller sticks out his right leg and the ball skims into off the bottom of his foot and the ball goes right into the top right corner.  

Ola Aina picked up a yellow in the 90th minute as he prevents Frank Kessie from taking the ball forward and Ivory Coast counter attacking 

The Ivory Coast players managed to keep the ball well in the corner in the final minutes preventing the Nigerian players from getting a chance of getting an equalizer, the referee blew his whistle for full time and Ivory Coast are Champions of Africa. 

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