Ivory Coast beats Democratic Republic of Congo 1-0 and joins Nigeria to the final

February 14, 2024
Ivory Coast beats Democratic Republic of Congo 1-0 and joins Nigeria to the final

FRANCE 24 delegate to Ivory Coast – Ivory Coast booked its place in the final of the African Cup of Nations after defeating the Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday evening in Abidjan, with a score of 1-0, scored by Haller in the 65th minute, to face Nigeria next Sunday at Alassane Ouattara Stadium. The “Excellent Eagles” defeated South Africa earlier on penalties.

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This time, she didn't resort Cote d'Ivoire To extra time, not to penalty kicks, but rather settled matters in official time and won Democratic Republic of Congo In the semi-final African Cup of Nations Football With a score of 1-0, Nigeria joined the final round.

The winning and qualifying goal was scored by Sebastien Haller in the 65th minute.

Read alsoAfrican Cup of Nations: “The miracle does not fall from the sky, but is made by the players” in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast entered the match amidst tremendous crowd enthusiasm at Alassane Ouattara Stadium in the suburb of Epembe, north of Abidjan, and did not care about the absence of four of its key players: defenders Ouret and Kosono and strikers Kouame and Diakite, who scored the winning goal over Mali in the quarter-finals.

She entered armed with great confidence after her previous achievements against Senegal in the quarter-finals (on penalties) and then against Mali in the quarter-finals (2-1) with ten players, but she held her breath in the eighth minute when the Democratic Republic of Congo scored a goal before Libyan referee Moataz Ibrahim canceled it due to an error. From Elia to goalkeeper Yahya Fofana.

Today's matches and results for the African Cup of Nations

The Ivorian fans were excited and applauded in the 18th minute when Sebastien Haller shot a header that passed near the left post of goalkeeper Mbassi, and everyone thought that the net had been shaken, and then in the 36th minute, Haller’s scissor kick also passed over the goal. But it shook in the 28th minute when Congolese striker Wessa was alone with Fofana, but failed to convert the ball for the lead goal.

The stadium almost exploded with joy in the fortieth minute when Haller received an accurate pass from right-back Singo and headed wide of the goal. Ivory Coast's control over the course of the first half was clear over the minutes, while Democratic Congo retreated. In the next minute, Franck Kessieh came close to scoring with a shot at the outskirts of the penalty area that hit the post and then went out. Coach Emers Faye confirmed during his press conference on the eve of the match that his team would do everything in its power to put pressure on its opponent and would not wait to score a goal before playing the match.

Read alsoBack to live coverage of the match

For his part, the French coach of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sebastien Desabre, stood bewildered on the touchline, aware that his players were about to collapse, waiting for the referee to announce the end of the first half so that he could try (during the break) to rearrange things.

Indeed, the two opponents returned to the locker rooms with a scoreless draw, while the “orange” fans rejoiced in the stands, certain that their team was on time this time.

Ivory Coast surpasses the Democratic Republic of Congo and advances to the final of the African Cup of Nations.  February 7, 2024.
Ivory Coast surpasses the Democratic Republic of Congo and advances to the final of the African Cup of Nations. February 7, 2024. © Pierre Rooney-Formes/FMM

Desabre decided to include striker Bongonda, a Spartak Moscow player, in his squad in place of Kakuta. The substitute striker manipulated the Ivory Coast defense from the start of the second stage until he advanced in front of the goalkeeper and shot outside the goal.

The Ivorian storm calmed down, and the “Cheetahs” regained their breath and confidence. They stopped the orange advance, and the “Cheetahs” sought to remedy the situation and turn the balance of power in their favor, but Al-Ahly player Franck Kessé almost surprised goalkeeper Mbassi with a powerful shot in the 59th minute.

The joy of the Ivorian fans as their team qualified for the final of the African Cup of Nations.  February 7, 2024.
The joy of the Ivorian fans as their team qualified for the final of the African Cup of Nations. February 7, 2024. © Pierre Rooney-Formes/FMM

In turn, Emers Faye made two changes, as Sangari replaced Sekou Fofana and Amani replaced Seri, and Mbamba later replaced Adingra. In the 65th minute, Haller was able to free his teammates with a scissor kick that deceived Mbassi and the Democratic Republic of Congo's defense, causing the stadium to catch fire, and the “Elephants” approached the final of the 2024 African Cup of Nations, which will be held on their home soil. The goal would have inevitably been achieved if Haller had succeeded in scoring a second time when the goalkeeper left his goal to shoot over the goal (71st minute).

But the Democratic Republic of Congo was unable to respond and failed to rise up against its Ivorian rival. Rather, the latter controlled the ball until the end, so the players joined the audience amid great joy at the “Alassane Ouattara” stadium, which will host the final match on Sunday evening at nine o’clock in the evening (8 GMT).

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