CAN23: Ivory Coast in the final, these Elephants have guts

By beating in the semi-final, the Leopards of the DR Congo by the smallest of margins (1-0) Wednesday evening at the Alassane Ouattara stadium in Ebimpé in Abidjan, the Elephants of Côte d'Ivoire display their ambitions for a 3rd star in this 34th edition of the CAN at home. The Elephants left the ball to the Leopards in the first half of the match and prepared well for the second. Congolese striker Cédric Bakambou even thought he had opened the scoring early in the morning (8th ) following a corner before seeing his goal refused by the referee, for an advanced position. In this Congolese domination, Yoane Wissa also found himself strangely alone in the Ivorian 5.5m but came up against goalkeeper Yahia Fofana (30th ) . Ivory Coast plays low block where the defensive withdrawal of its attack like Haller on Congolese corners is impeccable. In the process, Stéphane Singo, following a counter-attack, sets up a nice cross for Haller's uncrossed header which does not find the target (40th ) . Franck Kessier will strike on the right upright of the Leopards (42nd ) before the break. The Congolese resumed the second half with a bang and Théo Bongonda, who entered the game during the game, reviewed the entire Ivorian defense but saw his shot in the side net (48th ) . The Elephants' reaction will not take long. As usual, they played better in the second half. First it was Franck Kessié who attempted a shot, but at the goalkeeper (59 ' ) before the Elephants' attacking giant Haller, who had been shy until then, found the net (65 ' ). He even almost doubled the lead in the 71st minute but his lob didn't hit the target. The methodical Leopards coach Sébastien Desabre reacted by making a triple change a quarter of an hour from the end of the match but was unable to restore parity in the score. 'I am very excited about qualifying. It's a match that we mastered better than the previous two,' rejoiced the Ivory Coast Elephants coach Emerse Faé, adding that 'we won collectively. We were solid defensively.' For the Congolese c oach Desabre who doubted the sincerity of the referees on the goal of his attacker Cédric Bakambou, 'we cannot rewrite history. We are going to remobilize.' He still wanted to congratulate his players who 'had a good run in this competition'. The Elephants, who continue their brilliant journey, will meet the Super Eagles of Nigeria who barely came out on penalties, the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the first semi-final (1-1, then 4-2 TAB). It will be the remake of the group match where Nigeria got the better of Ivory Coast (1-0). This summit final will be played on Sunday at the Alassane Ouattara stadium in Ebimpé. Source: Burkina Information Agency

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