Picture this: a packed Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, hearts pounding and cheers echoing through the air
and the stage set for a football showdown of epic proportions.
It’s Sunday, the 11th of February, and Ivory Coast, the host nation, is about to embark on a journey that will leave the footballing world in awe.
Now, let’s rewind a bit. Ivory Coast’s AFCON 2024 campaign didn’t exactly kick off with fireworks.
No, sir. They stumbled through the group stage, losing to the Super Eagles of Nigeria (yeah, we remember that one),
and let’s not even mention the 4-0 thrashing they received from Equatorial Guinea. Ouch! Talk about a rough start.
But hey, who said winning was supposed to be easy?
Against all odds, Ivory Coast clawed their way back into contention, squeaking into the round of 16
as the last-ditch qualifier among the best third-placed teams.
And that’s when the magic started to unfold.
here’s what happened at AFCON 2024
Ivory Coast Emerges Victorious
The climax of the tournament saw Ivory Coast, the host nation, clinch the coveted AFCON trophy.
The Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan bore witness to an intense final match on Sunday, the 11th of February.
The final showdown is is is against the Super Eagles.
Captain William Troost Ekong led the charge, channeling his inner superhero to rally the troops.
With a header from Ekong himself, the Super Eagles took the lead in the first half, sending shockwaves through the stadium.
But hold your horses, folks, because this is where the plot thickens.
Enter Frank Kessie, stage left, with a thunderous header of his own, leveling the playing field.
And just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier, Sebastian Haller pops up with a sublime volley late in the match
sealing the deal for Ivory Coast. Cue pandemonium in the stands, as the host nation etches its name in AFCON folklore.
Fairy Tale Script
Ivory Coast’s journey to glory wasn’t without its hurdles.
Despite initial setbacks, including a loss to Nigeria and a crushing defeat by Equatorial Guinea, the Ivorians defied the odds.
Their perseverance led them to qualify as one of the last four third-placed teams, eventually paving the way for their historic triumph.
The striker who delivered the sublime volley late in the match had battled and beaten testicular cancer just 13 months prior
Talk about a fairy tale script unfolding before our eyes!
Ivory Coast’s triumph adds their name to the prestigious list of host nations to have won the AFCON.
Joining the ranks of footballing giants such as Egypt, Ghana, and Nigeria,
Ivory Coast’s victory symbolizes the unpredictable nature of the beautiful game.
While some stars shone brightly, others faltered under the tournament’s spotlight.
Victor Osimhen, the African Player of the Year, showcased glimpses of brilliance but only managed to score one goal for the Super Eagles.
The Moroccan team, touted as strong contenders, bowed out earlier than expected
further reflecting the unpredictable nature of football.
Awards such as the Golden Boot, clinched by Emilio Nsue of Equatorial Guinea
and Player of the Tournament, awarded to William Troost Ekong of Nigeria
highlighted the individual brilliance witnessed throughout the tournament.
Social Media Banter
And let’s not forget the social media rollercoaster.
Nigerian Twitter was ablaze throughout the tournament, dishing out equal parts banter and heartache.
And while we may not have clinched the trophy, we sure know how to keep the timeline lit!
In the end, AFCON 2024 wasn’t just about football; it was about resilience, passion, and the unwavering spirit of African football.
Ivory Coast, take a bow. You’ve given us a tournament to remember, and for that, we salute you