The Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire plan to approach the Super Eagles of Nigeria differently when they meet again in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final on Sunday, February 11.
The Super Eagles and Cote d’Ivoire have already met once in the current edition of the tournament. The two West African giants met in the group stage on January 18, and the game ended 1-0 in favour of Nigeria.
Despite being the hosts of the tournament, Cote d’Ivoire almost crashed out in the group stage as they finished third with just three points in three games after two defeats and one win.
Fortunately, they qualified for the round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams. Before then, they had sacked coach Jean-Louis Gasset, who finished the group stage with them.
Hence, his assistant coach, Emerse Fae, a retired Ivorian international, was appointed as the team’s caretaker coach on January 24, 2024, after they failed to appoint France women’s national team coach, Herve Renard, on loan.
From that point on, the Ivorian side have been enjoying a smooth run in the tournament, knocking out Senegal via penalties in the round of 16, beating Mali 1-2 in the quarter-finals, and knocking out DR Congo 1-0 in the semi-final on Wednesday, February 7.
At the Alassanne Quattara Stadium, Ebimpe, Abidjan, on Sunday, February 11, the 40-year-old coach Fae will attempt to make a name for himself in coaching by helping the Ivorian side to beat Nigeria in the 2023 AFCON.
To achieve that, the coach noted that he and his team would have to analyze the Super Eagles, who are yet to lose a game in the tournament.
He said, “We will take stock in the next two days, we will analyze Nigeria, even though we played them in the group stage, we will see the strategy to implement for the final.”
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