The Super Eagles of Nigeria earned their first victory at the ongoing TotalEnergies AFCON 2023 against the Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire in the group stage, they need to produce another gritty performance against the same opponents if they want to win their fourth AFCON title. The match will be broadcast live on DStv & GOtv.
Prior to their victory, the Super Eagles had gone five games without a win. Head coach, Jose Peseiro was under immense pressure to turn the team’s fortunes around. Veteran defender Troost Ekong, who had been sidelined for a year before his recall to the team for the tournament, stepped up and calmly slotted home from the spot to give Nigeria a much-needed victory.
The Eagles would then proceed to win their next three clashes against Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon and Angola without conceding. However, a draw in the next match meant that goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali had to rise to the occasion to get past Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the semi-finals. Tune in SuperSport Football (ch 61) on Sunday at 9pm to watch the final. DStv and GOtv customers can also stream the match live on the DStv and GOtv Stream apps.
Without a doubt, the stakes will be higher in front of the home crowd, at the same venue where they first met, Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara. Like the Super Eagles, the Elephants have had a sharp turnaround in their fortunes. A thrilling 2-0 opening game victory was followed by two successive defeats against Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea. The team’s gaffer, Jean-Louis Gasset lost his job as a result.
However, after the host qualified as one of the four best losers, interim coach, Emerse Fae, has led the team to the brink of a third AFCON. The fairytale ride includes victories against defending champions, Senegal, Mali and DR Congo and has left home fans dreaming of another title.
Fae famously likened their resurgence to a resurrection after the team managed to put their embarrassing 4-0 defeat against Equatorial Guinea behind them. Can they write their fairytale in stride against a team that started their initial decline in the group stage?
With the AFCON trophy on the line, much is at stake for both teams. In the last 8 meetings, Nigeria have won 4 and the Ivorians have won 4. The Ivorians will be looking to equal Nigeria’s record by winning a third AFCON title. However, the Super Eagles are motivated by the possibility of a fourth title and the fact that they have defeated the Ivorians in this tournament already. Sunday’s game will be Nigeria’s eighth final and Cote D’Ivoire’s fifth.
A piece of history stands between both teams. In 2015, Nigeria failed to qualify for AFCON and missed the chance to defend their title. Interestingly, that was the year the Elephants rose to the occasion by winning their second title.
Find out which team will beat the odds and take the crown of African Football on Sunday. To enjoy all the action from the final, DStv and GOtv customers can take advantage of the Step Up offer to boost their package for an even richer viewing experience. They can upgrade their subscription through the MyDStv or MyGOtv app or dial *288# to experience the best of AFCON.