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Nigeria vs Cote D’Ivoire Final Africa Cup of Nations 2023 Preview

The 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations is heading towards a dramatic conclusion as Nigeria prepares to take on Côte d’Ivoire in the final on Sunday 11 February.

The Super Eagles advanced from the semi-finals after defeating South Africa 4-2 in a thrilling penalty shootout while tournament hosts Cote d’Ivoire booked their place in the showpiece game after edging DR Congo 1-0 on Wednesday night.

The two sides will meet in the final for the second time in the tournament having already played each other once in a group game. Nigeria emerged then as the winners after William Troost-Ekong netted a penalty to hand the Super Eagles a 1-0 victory.

Despite being a tournament full of twists, turns and upsets, the final will be contested by two sides that have previously won AFCON.

Nigeria are three-time winners, lifting the trophy in 1980, 1994 and 2013, while the Cote d’Ivoire Elephants have been crowned champions twice, in 1992 and 2015.

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast Head-to-Head

Nigeria and Ivory Coast will be meeting for the eighth time at the Africa Cup of Nations (three wins for Nigeria, two for Ivory Coast, D2), including in all three AFCON editions where the Super Eagles have won the competition (group stage draw in 1980, a 4-2 Nigeria win on pens after a 2-2 semi-final draw in 1994 and a 2-1 Nigeria win in the quarter-finals in 2013).

Of course, they’ve also already played once in this tournament, with Nigeria winning 1-0 on Matchday 2 of Group A thanks to a Troost-Ekong penalty – that was their only shot on target in what was a closely fought encounter, though the Super Eagles arguably just about deserved the victory.

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast: AFCON Final Pre-Match Facts

• Following their 1-0 win in the group stages over Ivory Coast, Nigeria will be looking to beat the same nation twice in a CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament for the first time since 2006, when they beat Senegal in the group stage and third-place play-off.

• Ivory Coast are the first host nation to reach the Africa Cup of Nations final since Egypt in 2006, who won the trophy that year on penalties against the Elephants after a 0-0 draw. Five of the last six host nations to reach the final have won the tournament, the exception being Nigeria in 2000 (drew 2-2 with Cameroon, lost 4-3 on penalties).

• Nigeria are playing in their eighth AFCON final, only Egypt and Ghana (both 9) have played in more such games in the competition (excluding final groups). The Super Eagles have been victorious in two of their last three (1994 and 2013, lost on penalties in 2000) having lost their three beforehand (1984, 1988 and 1990).
All four of Ivory Coast’s previous Africa Cup of Nations finals have ended goalless and gone to penalties – they won two of those shootouts (1992 and 2015, both vs Ghana) and lost two (2006 vs Egypt and 2012 vs Zambia).

• Ivory Coast have won 17 of their last 18 matches at the Africa Cup of Nations when scoring the first goal (D1) – their last such defeat was in the 2010 quarter-final against Algeria, losing 3-2. Nigeria, meanwhile, are unbeaten in 22 AFCON games when scoring first (W19 D3) since a 3-1 loss to Egypt in 2010.

• The two most common scorelines in Africa Cup of Nations finals are 1-0 (eight times) and 0-0 (seven times) – since 2002, nine of the 11 finals have ended in one of those scorelines, with the other two 2-1 wins for Tunisia in 2004 and Cameroon in 2017.

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• Since the last time they conceded three goals in an Africa Cup of Nations match (1-3 vs Egypt in 2010), Nigeria have conceded just 16 goals in 28 games at AFCON (0.57 per game).Only eight of those 16 have come in open play, including one at this year’s tournament.

• William Troost-Ekong has scored from four of his five shots on target at the Africa Cup of Nations overall for Nigeria, converting two penalties at this year’s tournament. He’s one of only four Nigerians to score two penalties at a single AFCON, along with Samuel Ojebode (1976), Jay-Jay Okocha (2004) and Victor Moses (2013), although, excluding shootouts, the last penalty scored in an AFCON final was in 1988 (Emmanuel Kundé for Cameroon vs Nigeria).

• All six of Ivory Coast’s goals at AFCON 2023 have been scored by different players (Seko Fofana, Jean-Philippe Krasso, Franck Kessié, Simon Adingra, Oumar Diakité and Sebastien Haller). They last had more goalscorers in a single edition in 2008 (8).

• Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen has had 24 shots at the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, although he’s only managed one goal (4% conversion rate). Since 2010, the only players to attempt more shots at a single AFCON tournament are Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan (25 shots, 1 goal in 2013) and Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar (31 shots, 8 goals in 2021).

• Ivory Coast’s Evan Ndicka has completed 367 passes at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations – since 2010, that is a record by a player at a single tournament. In an AFCON final in that time, the most passes completed by a player is 81 by Senegal’s Kalidou Koulibaly in 2021 vs Egypt.

Ola Aina has created seven chances for Nigerian teammate Victor Osimhen at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations – it’s the most by one teammate to another at an AFCON tournament since 2013, when Burkina Faso’s Charles Kaboré created nine chances for Aristide Bancé.

AFCON 2023 Final: Date, kick-off time, venue

The final of the 2023 African Cup of Nations will kick off at 20:00 (GMT) on Sunday 11 February at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

The third-place playoff, featuring DR Congo and South Africa will take place on Saturday 10 February at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny.

How to watch 2023 AFCON Final

2023 AFCON, held in 2024, is available to watch live across Africa and the rest of the world. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) aims to make the tournament accessible on free-to-air TV across the continent.

Nigerian fans will be able to watch the match live on AfroSport.

In Ghana, it will be live on GTVSports+ and super Sport on DSTV.

In the UK & Ireland, Sky Sports are broadcasting every AFCON fixture while BBC Three will also be broadcasting the final live. Streams are available on the BBC Sport website, BBC iPlayer and SkyGo app.

Other broadcasters include beIN Sport, which will broadcast the tournament in the Middle East and North Africa region as well as in France and the United States; CANAL+, which will show the event in French in Sub-Saharan Africa;  ZIGGO Sport in the Netherlands; and the CAF’s own media channels will also show games in some countries.

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