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WILL IT BE NIGERIA OR COTE D’IVOIRE?

As the Final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations approaches, the clash between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire promises to be a showdown of contrasting narratives and tactical prowess.

Nigeria are three-time winners of the tournament, having lifted the trophy in 1980, 1994, and 2013 while Cote d’Ivoire are two-time winners after landing the gold medal in 1992 and 2015 respectively.

Since 19 March 1967, Both teams have met 29 times and split 9 victories a piece and 10 draws.

Nigeria enters the match as a formidable force, showcasing their offensive prowess by scoring in every regulation time of the AFCON tournament.

Their previous encounter with Cote d’Ivoire resulted in a narrow 1-0 victory during the group stages, setting the stage for an intense rematch.

Nigeria’s key player, Victor Osimhen, stands as a formidable threat, having demonstrated his goal-scoring capabilities by leading his team to the Seria A title and clinching a Golden Boot last year. His presence on the field adds an extra dimension to Nigeria’s attacking arsenal, making him a player to watch closely.

On the flip side, Cote d’Ivoire have experienced a rollercoaster journey throughout the tournament, marked by highs and lows and even sacking their coach Jean – Lou’s Gasset, replacing him with Emerse Fae in his first-ever managerial position since he hung up his boots in 2012.

Despite an initial setback with a shocking 4-0 defeat against Equatorial Guinea, they’ve shown resilience by overcoming adversity, narrowly escaping elimination against Senegal, and securing a spot in the final through a dramatic penalty shootout victory.

Sebastian Haller’s emergence as a key figure for Cote d’Ivoire adds an element of unpredictability to their offensive strategy, with his ability to deliver crucial goals in critical moments.

At 10 PM, the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) will broadcast the game live on MBC Television, 2ontheGo, and Radio 2 FM as the stage is set for a captivating final match.

 

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