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AFCON 2023 Final: Super Eagles Lose Gallantly As Resilient CIV’s Elephants Bag 3rd Title

AFCON 2023 Final: Super Eagles Lose Gallantly As Resilient CIV’s Elephants Bag 3rd Title

Hosts Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire have won the AFCON 2023 after coming from a goal down to beat Nigeria’s Super Eagles 2-1 in Sunday’s final.

Côte d’Ivoire has now claimed their third AFCON title, tying with Nigeria.

The Eagles have lost five of their eight appearances in the AFCON final, winning three.


It was a remarkable comeback story for the Ivorians who only managed to qualify as one of the best third placed team.

The Eagles were second best all through the game as the Ivorians had seven shots on target, six shots off target, bossed the ball possession 67 – 33 per cent, and had five corners.

Prior to Sunday’s final, Côte d’Ivoire had failed to score in their previous four appearances.

That came to an end as Franck Kessie’s equaliser made him the first Ivorian to score in the final of the AFCON.

Despite being on the back foot for most part of the first half it was the Eagles who took the lead on 38 minutes through captain William Troost-Ekong.

The Eagles won a corner which the Ivorians failed to properly clear, which saw Troost-Ekong out jumping his marker to nod the ball into the back of the net.

The Ivorians came back in the second half fired up and got their reward in the 62nd minute as they drew level through Kessie.

The former Barcelona midfielder, who was left unmarked inside the box headed home a cross from Simon Adingra.

In the 81st minute Côte d’Ivoire went 2-1 up as Sebastien Haller slotted home a fine cross from Adingra.

By Adeboye Amosu, in Abidjan

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  • Selfmade KING 1 week ago

    Nigeria did their best 

    Wishing them nothing but the best 

  • josh 1 week ago

    They didn’t lose gallantly. This was their worst game of the competition. It would have been unfair to football for Ivory Coast to lose with the way Nigeria played this final. The coach is to blame for this showing by the Super eagles because they actually have what it takes to do better than how they played today.

    • josh 1 week ago

      With only 2 shots on target for the entire 90 mins. Ok oga reporter continue.

    • Wale Akinlatun 1 week ago

      That headline is misleading and terribly unprofessional. We played so poorly as a result of a tactless coach who cannot change formation

    • Coache 1 week ago

      Peseigo should leave us in Peace. I dont believe in him. If not Nigerians that cried for a better goalkeeper, we we,might not have reached where we did.

      He insisted on Uzoho can you imagine. Look at Adingra and his purposefulness compared to Chukwueze with all his experience?

      The conjecture Still stands, NO HOME BASED PLAYERS IN THE TEAM, NO AFCON TROPHY.

  • How do you hope to win a final game with 33% possession and 2 shots all through 45 minutes?

    Paseiro was hoping to win 1 – 0 and ride his luck defending for 70 minutes. His tactics tired out the defense line and DMF as they eventually caved in under mounting pressure. Simon is a more purposeful player and starting Chukwueze was a mistake. The midfield no doubt missed Ndidi.

    Congratulations to CIV. They wanted it more and were more purposeful. In all, the boys tried. They can feel proud. I never gave them a chance under Paseiro, given all the woeful results we had pre-tournament.

  • Chima E Samuels 1 week ago

    Well done to Nigeria. It’s time to go back and build on this afcon experience. But I thing is that we can not continue the park the bus thing. NFF should allow the coach to proceed to zamalek let us rebuild the team with a coach that will bring out the best in the boys. Peseiro has done well but it’s time for Nigeria to make a change like CIV or it will be too late. South Africa is excited after how they almost won us and it’s because of the park the ball thing they saw us adopting.

  • William the conqueror 1 week ago

    First of all congratulations to the team, but you can give what you don’t have. How can you play a final like this, I blame the coach. Until we start to appreciate our own. Shikena

  • Ololo 1 week ago

    Starting chukueze was what caused us this game.. how do you start a game as the final after sitting on the bench for most of the tournament to play almost nothing . That’s so poor!

    Not only that chukwuwze played nothing, he didn’t support aino making that adingra boy more confident as he grew in the game.. Simon or an iheancho would have been better.

    Nigeria did not deserve to win this game, it would be unfair to play just 2 shot on target and a possession of less than 40 and expect to win the host country with their president and all the money spend to host this tournament.. Let them go home and learn lessons from this Afcon

  • Dr Banks 1 week ago

    I really don’t understand what happened to our players tonight…………they were so lethargic even in defense.
    Peiseiro got it wrong today, you don’t go defending in a final which you’re the favorite.
    Thin midfield with no supply to attackers
    Better luck next time ⚽

  • Femi 1 week ago

    Whey did Aina decided to play his worst game when it matters most? Why did Peseiro change his winning team? Why start chukwueze? Why did the entire team decided to play there worst game at the final? Why did osimhen turn to Vinicius the complainant  instead of playing and focus? This losss is so hard to take but we move.

  • Mike 1 week ago

    Eagles played as if they don’t want the cup…like the way they played against Ghana in the World Cup qualifiers 

  • Dr. Drey 1 week ago

    Congratulations Nigeria.

    Against all odds, we came, we saw and once again we were a touching distance away from the trophy.

    Reaching the final of a 24 team AFCON is analogous to winning the finals of a 16 team tourney….so I’ve got nothing but praise for these boys and their coaches. Years ago….reaching this stage would earn you the trophy.

    99% of Nigerians everywhere, including myself, never gave them a chance. Reaching the Quarterfinals for me would have been a miracle. Only brave folks like Deo, Glory and Ayphilly had belief in this team in a way that defied logic….and I will say kudos to the trio. Consistency they say is what makes a man. You are the stuff of what men are made. Na Men…REAL MEN una be.

    We cannot but be grateful to the coach. He used what he had to almost get what he wanted….only that he got found at a time he had run his players out of steam.

    We live to fight another day…..possibly and hopefully with another coach.

    Congrats once again to the team. And huge congrats to Captain Fantastic Wiliam Troost Ekong on his emergence as the BEST PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT. To think he was almost not gonna get a callup for this tournament makes this award even more fulfilling.

    Another afcon comes up in 2025….will we be ready by then…? Only time and destiny can tell.

    Weldone boys. Hardluck Nigeria

  • Baba 1 week ago

    Paseiro got it wrong today! You don’t go into a game to defend for 90 minutes. That is negative football

    • MuYiwa 1 week ago

      You should have said this when he defeated Cameroon, Angola and SA using same tactic.

  • Ayphillydegreat 1 week ago

    Peseiro’s Catenaccio almost paid off. However, one thing is certain you can’t win a tournament of this magnitude without a real playmaker (JayJay) or at least a play manager (Mikel). It was apparent from the beginning that our midfield is thin. Onyeka did is best but he’s not Ndidi. Iwobi tried but he’s not JayJay. Maybe they would’ve thrived in a 3 man midfield. We have a good defense and attack but we suffered in midfield. All in all, it was a fantastic tournament for the SuperEagles. We move and begin preparations in Ernest for the WorldCup qualifiers and next AFCON in Morocco. We must take South Africa very seriously if we want to be in USA Mexico and Canada. At least I feel better now that we have a team to build on. 


  • Ogie 1 week ago

    We must work on getting better midfielders. Midfielders that have the requisite professional work-class attributes. Aribo and Iwobi should quietly give way. Chukwueze should be allowed to go work on his physicality and stamina. How can you be afraid & easily bullied. Can’t you see the strength and stamina of Messi??
    Even some of our defenders need to be changed. How can Aina be moving backwards into his own 18yard allowing the opponent free crossing space for their 2nd goal??

    I blame the NFF and Coaching crew for going into this AFCON with these poor midfielders like Iwobi and Aribo. We fans have factored out this problem since last world cup miss against Ghana yet they did nothing about them.

    Pls we need confident, ball playing and skillful midfielders…..
    ✓Strong & Very skilfull
    ✓Ability to face opponent with the ball and not always running to pass backwards/sideways.

    ✓Great vision

    ✓ Can mark and tackle well

    ✓Quick in counter

    ✓Quality inside and outside foot passing skills

    ✓ Can use both feet

    ✓Can shoot from a distance like Sunday Oliseh

    ✓Can dribble to create spaces

    ✓ Can open up anytime to receive and give passes very fast.

    ✓ Free kick&penalty specialist

    ✓ Good midfield motivators who can single handedly dictate the game from the middle.

    ✓ E.t.c (Add others)

    Super Eagles must work on quick passing skills and ability to utilize spaces without wasting time.

    Today, SE didn’t have any traditional winger or AM to drive the ball towards the opponent’s 18yard and feed Osimhen. Chukwueze and Lookman were hidden inside the middle. Chukwueze was too inside the middle isolating himself from the DM & defenders. He performs better on the flank.

    Well, SE performance was very poor. And do we as a country even deserve the AFCON GOLD??? Food for thought!

  • Thanks to the coach for taking us this far. We get enough quality in that squad to de play Defence Vs Attack in certain games. We can do better with what we’ve got. Biko make Pes go

  • Nigeria tried. To beat a host like Ivory Coast was always going to be difficult. Maybe if Kenya was the host. Anyway some mistakes were made. Starting Chukwueze instead of Simon and even at that, not bringing on Simon right from the start of 2nd-half was a mistake.
    Start Iwobi or even at that, not replacing him from the start of the 2nd-half was a mistake.
    Not changing formation after our goal was a mistake.
    The Ivorians outplayed us and as host, they deserved it. Can spend billions in whatever currency and not gain from the investment is unfair. We have no regrets. It would have been painful if a non-hosting country won the trophy. Silver is not bad. It has it’s own prize and got statistics sake, we did well.

  • We salute the team. We were not disgraced. It’s just that we lost a final very badly. This is Nigeria and this afcon.Even if we are losing we should lose well.

    All the same. The team tried.

    Earlier I mentioned that pesero should go, I want to take it back. That’s not a fair statement from me.

    If he wants to stay he should stay.

    He showed with this tournament that he can learn and make changes when it’s necessary. He almost won the afcon!

    He is somebody who can ring the changes When it’s necessary going forward.

    I believe that.

    The Nigerian situation hindered him.

    Some Nigerian factor made him take Musa and Aribo to afcon.

    Aribo has someone working for him at nff. I believe that. He is the worst player I have seen in eagles shirt for many years now. So horrible. Has not contributed anything. Does not play for a top club. Not even doing well in his club yet playing in Nigerian midfield at afcon.

    I pray God takes away the godfather he has in nff.

    Going forward. Lessons learned.

    1. Pesero can do something with this team. He will ring changes. I believe that. He is flexible. His plan for chukuwueze for the final boomerang and he took him off though not early enough.

    2. We now see that chukuwueze is a below super eagles average player. Never ever use him to Start eagles game. I believe ac Milan will sell him off soon. The likes of tella should come Into the team. Chukuwueze is not really going to fulfill his potential in an eagles shirt.

    3. Can we begin to think above iwobi? Don’t take him out. But please he is not a major player for us. We should look for minefielders. Iwobi can’t be trusted to give good performances consistently. Even when he plays behind our attackers we have seen him make mistakes and give below average performances. He runs away from tackles in the middle.

    4. Musa should go now. That was why pesero shut him off before but the powers that be brought him for afcon. We wasted the chance to have a useful player in the team. He is not useful again.

    5. If anyone bring in Aribo then eagles will never win any tournament. That’s not ba curse. It’s annoying to see a mediocre player take the place of competent players all the time. Too bad for this nation.

    6. Let’s celebrate the great discoveries and performers- nwabili onyeka Yusuf aina Oshimen ademola bassey ajayi ekong Simon iheanacho osayi. You tried. With Boniface ndidi tella joining this team and we scout for better midfielders we will be unstoppable.

  • Kelechi 1 week ago

    It was a very poor outing if you ask me. You dont win an AFCON by luck, you must work for it. CIV risked it all in the course of this tournament by sacking thier head coach and it payed. You dont park the bus on a team that is playing way better than you, they’ll get you exhausted and capitalise on your weak points. Aina was weak and adingra used him all through the game. We need a playmaker someone who can dribble part 2 to 3 defenders and make a perfect pass. After our match against south africe, i knew our midfield was very weak. I wish we could have an adingra in our team someday. Someone who isnt afraid of facing defenders confidently.

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