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Rivals Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire clash in blockbuster AFCON final showdown

 A titanic clash awaits Afri­can football as Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire contest the totalenergies CAF AFCON 2023 final on Sunday.

This ‘heavyweight bout’ sees two bitter rivals collide with conti­nental glory at stake.

February 11 will witness a final for the ages at the Alassane Ouat­tara Stadium. When these foes last met in the group stage, Nigeria edged out the hosts 1-0.

However, with redemption on the line, Cote d’Ivoire will be a different beast. And Nigeria know preventing the Elephants from winning a third AFCON on home soil represents their toughest test.

For Nigeria manager, Jose Peseiro, outwitting Cote d’Ivoire boss, Emerse Fae, will be key. Pe­seiro’s tactical nous guided Nige­ria past South Africa in a penalty shootout thriller on Wednesday’s first semifinal.

But Fae’s also showed grit to overcome DR Congo 1-0 in the semi-finals. Much will depend on the battle between Peseiro and Fae on the touchline.

On the pitch, the stars will shine bright under the Abidjan lights. Cote d’Ivoire boasts star players, Nicolas Pepe, and pro­lific Dortmund striker, Sebastien Haller.

Yet Nigeria have talents like Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Wil­liam Troost-Ekong in their ranks. With such pedigree on display, a goal-fest could await.

Whoever prevails, African football is the ultimate winner. This totalenergies CAF AFCON reaches a fitting crescendo with two heavyweights fighting for continental glory. – Cafonline.com

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