The final, scheduled at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, is a rematch of their group stage encounter where Nigeria emerged 1-0 victors. However, with redemption at stake, Ivory Coast aims to be a different force, presenting Nigeria with their toughest challenge.
Tactical Battle Between Peseiro and Faé
Nigerian manager Jose Peseiro's tactical acumen will be crucial as he faces off against Côte d'Ivoire boss Emerse Faé. Both teams exhibited resilience in the semi-finals, and the outcome may hinge on which coach prevails in this tactical tussle.
Star Power on Display
The final will showcase footballing talents under the Abidjan lights. Côte d'Ivoire boasts emerging star Simon Adingra and prolific striker Sebastien Haller. On the other side, Nigeria showcases talents like Napoli's Victor Osimhen and dynamic winger Ademola Lookman. With such firepower, a goal-fest is anticipated.
Osimhen and Haller
Victor Osimhen, leading Nigeria's charge, aims for a defining performance to secure his place in Nigerian folklore. Napoli's hotshot has been instrumental, and a match-winning display in the final could be his ticket to immortality.
Ivory Coast's dangerman, Sebastien Haller, seeks redemption after overcoming injury troubles. His goals may prove decisive for the Elephants in their quest for a third AFCON title.
Facts and Figures
- This is the second meeting between Nigeria and Ivory Coast in the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, with Nigeria winning the group-stage encounter 1-0.
- Côte d'Ivoire hasn't beaten Nigeria at AFCON since 2008.
- Côte d'Ivoire is the first host nation to reach the AFCON final since Egypt in 2006.
- Nigeria is playing in its eighth AFCON final, with three victories to its credit.
- Côte d'Ivoire has won 17 of its last 18 matches at AFCON when scoring the first goal.
- Both teams have a history of goalless AFCON finals that went to penalties.
Emerse Faé (Ivory Coast)
Emerse Faé, at 40 years old, has steered Ivory Coast to the final after a remarkable turnaround in the knockout stages. A former Ivorian international, Faé's coaching journey began after a career cut short by injuries.
José Peseiro (Nigeria)
Portuguese trainer José Peseiro, appointed two years ago, has orchestrated Nigeria's path to the final, overcoming initial struggles. Peseiro's faith in young talents, coupled with experience, has transformed Nigeria into a defensively resilient side.
The Super Eagles, with just two goals conceded throughout the competition, are in their first final in a decade, showcasing Peseiro's impactful tenure.