AFCON 2023 results: Phoenix rising from the ashes

AFCON 2023 results: Phoenix rising from the ashes

Looking like an obvious outsider after the first 2 rounds, Côte d’Ivoire wrote one of the most amazing chapters in the history of African football. Today, the reliable bookmaker company 1xBet remembers the Elephants’ path to the top and will try to figure out what is the key to successful sports betting?

 

The champion’s rebirth

After a 0-4 defeat by Equatorial Guinea in the group stage third round, Ivorian fans left the stadium in Abidjan confident that their team had said goodbye to the competition. The squad got 3 points and took 3rd place in the group with a 2-5 goal difference, having only theoretical chances of reaching the playoffs. After the match, Didier Drogba said that the tournament was over for Côte d’Ivoire, and coach Jean-Louis Gasset’s dismissal only confirmed the country’s general mood.

 

What happened next? Ordinary football miracles that occur only once in a lifetime.

 On January 22, Ghana conceded 2 goals from Mozambique in stoppage time and, instead of a guaranteed victory, only
got a draw, which put them below the Ivorians in the teams’ ranking that took 3rd place in the group.

 On January 24, the Moroccans beat Zambia, for whom a draw would be enough to continue the fight, and this result
brought Côte d'Ivoire into the playoffs.

 On the same day, Emerse Fae became the Elephants’ head coach. He was only the second option for the local
federation, which wanted to invite Hervé Renard. The Frenchman, who led the Ivorians to victory at the AFCON
2015, fortunately for everyone, refused.

 

 In the 1/8, Ivory Coast was losing to Senegal until the 86th minute, then scored from the penalty spot and won the
penalty shootout.

 In the quarterfinals against Mali, the Ivorians remained in the minority in the first half but achieved a strong-willed victory with goals in the 90th and 120th minutes.

 In the final, Côte d’Ivoire conceded first against Nigeria, which was almost invulnerable at the AFCON but rallied in
the second half and responded twice. Sebastien Haller scored the decisive goal in the 81st minute. The Borussia Dortmund forward wasted his chances throughout the tournament but brought the Elephants victory, first in the
semi-finals with DR Congo and then in the final match.

Happy Didier Drogba rejoiced in the stands along with the whole country.

 

What is the key to successful sports betting?The Ivory Coast national team proved that everything is possible in football. This principle also applies in sports predictions, where even a slim chance can be turned into triumph.

Maximum intrigue in the playoffs

6 of the 16 AFCON playoff matches went to overtime, 5 times the winner was determined in a penalty shootout, and another 6 games ended with a 1 goal difference.

 

Well-deserved individual awards

MVP – William Troost-Ekong. The Nigerian defender from PAOK didn’t become the champion but had a fantastic tournament. He cemented the defense, which conceded only 4 times, and scored 3 goals himself, including in the semi-finals and final.

Top scorer – Emilio Nsue. The 34-year-old forward from the Equatorial Guinea national team scored all 5 goals during the
group stage but would probably agree to exchange them for one successful penalty in the 1/8 final match against Guinea (0-1).

Best goalkeeper – Ronwen Williams. The South African didn’t concede in 5 out of 7 games, and in the playoffs, the goals were only scored from the spot. In addition, Williams won 2 of 3 penalty shootouts, saving 4 in one of them, and led the Bafana Bafana to bronze.

Best young player – Simon Adingra (Côte d’Ivoire). The 22-year-old Brighton winger overcame injury and regained his form during the tournament, as did his senior teammate and owner of the winning goals in the semi-final and final, Sebastien Haller. Adingra reigned on the left flank, scoring a goal in the quarter-finals and providing 2 assists in the final.

The best coach – Emerse Fae (Côte d’Ivoire). For the first time in his career, the specialist took over the adult team, and 4 games later, he won his first trophy! Fae compensated for the lack of experience with a good atmosphere in the changing room and the ability to ignite the players’ hearts. We are sure that the national team will never forget his words.

Fair Play Award – South Africa. The Bafana Bafana received 6 yellow cards and 1 red card, but it’s not that much considering that South Africa played 7 matches, including against several AFCON top favorites.

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