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Haller celebrates ‘joyous’ AFCON victory for Ivory Coast

Sebastien Haller’s late goal capped an incredible Africa Cup of Nations triumph for Ivory Coast, who beat Nigeria to win a third continental title on home soil.

Haller’s flick earned Ivory Coast the title, after The Elephants came from behind to win at the the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

William Troost-Ekong’s third goal of the tournament had put the Super Eagles ahead in the final, before Frank Kessie headed in an equaliser for the Ivorians from Brighton winger Simon Adingra’s corner.

 

With the game heading towards extra-time, Haller scored the decisive goal to crown Ivory Coast champions.

“We dreamed of this moment so many times,” Haller said, as per the BBC.

“We hoped to get to this point and once again the match wasn’t an easy one. The joyous scenes we see now, what’s happening in the country, they deserve it too. I really hope it does a lot of people good.”

Ivory Coast’s victory came despite a stuttering start in the tournament, with a 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea in the group stage having left the hosts in danger of elimination. After progressing as one of the best third-place finishers in the group stage, the Ivorians – who sacked coach Jean-Louis Gasset after that loss – went on to win the tournament.

 

Haller’s winner capped his own comeback story after the ex-West Ham forward was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2022. His winning goal earned Ivory Coast their third AFCON title, after previous victories in 1992 and 2015.

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