The Super Eagles defeated Ivory Coast in the first round of games, but Ivory Coast will be looking to get their pound of flesh
Ivory Coast coach Emerse Fae has stated that the major change that the team has experienced since their loss to Nigeria in the first round of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is their improved mentality, Soccernet.ng reports.
Nigeria and Ivory Coast will meet in the final of the 2023 AFCON on Sunday. Coincidentally, the fixture is a replay of the second fixture of Group A, which Nigeria won 1-0.
However, since that game, a lot of water has passed under the bridge. Ivory Coast qualified for the knockout rounds as one of the best losers; they sacked coach Jean-Louis Gasset and employed Fae as caretaker coach. Since Fae has taken over as coach, the Elephants have been impressive, beating Senegal, Mali, and Guinea on the road to the finals.
Nigeria, on the other hand, have enjoyed a steady rise in the competition. After drawing against Equatorial Guinea in their first game, they have grown into the competition, winning all their remaining games aside from the semi-final against South Africa.
Both teams look evenly matched ahead of the final at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara, and coach Fae has stated that his team has improved from the first loss against Nigeria.
“Well, Cote D’Ivoire went through trying times that has made us stronger,” Fae said per Soccernet.ng.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That’s what has changed from the group stage. The mindset also changed. We are doing this for our country. It is such a great objective that we have to amend the things that are basic in our view.”
Nigeria and Ivory Coast are two of the most talented teams on the continent, and the final promises to be an enthralling encounter.