from ALEXIS DOUMBIA in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast Bureau
ABIDJAN, (CAJ News) – THE final of the continent’s prime football competition will be an all-West African affair for the fourth time since inception 67 years ago.
This after hosts Ivory Coast and Nigeria on Wednesday booked their spots in the decider of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), set for the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Ivory Coast, set for Sunday.
They have eliminated the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Africa respectively.
DRC, defeated 1-0 by the hosts, and South Africa, who lost 4-2 on penalties to nemesis Nigeria after a dramatic match that finished 1-1, will tussle for the bronze medal on Saturday at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny.
Wednesday was another dramatic day in what has been a spectacular 34th edition of the tournament.
At the Stade de la Paix, Nigeria were 2-0 up and suddenly pegged back to 1-1 in moments after video assistant referee (VAR) ruled out Victor Osimhen’s effort after a foul on Percy Tau inside the Nigerian box, during the buildup to the Nigerian “goal.”
Teboho Mokoena scored the penalty to take the game into extra time, where the Super Eagles prevailed.
There was no such drama at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara but a gorgeous strike by Sebastian Haller in the 65th minute booked Ivory Coast a berth in the final.
Ivory Coast has featured in two previous all-West African finals, against Senegal (1992) and Ghana (2015).
Nigeria and Burkina Faso contested the other final, in 2013.
– CAJ News