Nigeria vs Ivory Coast LIVE: Afcon final updates as Sebastien Haller’s late goal wins tournament for hosts


Ivory Coast win the Africa Cup of Nations after coming from behind to defeat Nigeria in the final at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium.

The hosts started as the better, more aggressive team, creating chances on goal and playing with a confidence that they’ve lacked throughout the rest of the tournament. The fans inside the stadium gave the match a lively and excitable atmosphere but Nigeria threatened to provide an upset.

In a rare attack up the pitch they won a corner that came curling onto the head of William Troost-Ekong who nodded it into the back of the net for the opener to give them the lead at half-time.

Ivory Coast didn’t give in. They came out for the second half with gusto and equalised through a set piece of their own. Franck Kessie drifting into space and powering a header into the deck before it bounced into the net. A sign of fate perhaps came at the end of the game. Sebastien Haller, who missed the start of the tournament through injury, stuck his foot onto a cross and turned it past Stanley Nwabali to decide the match.

Relive the Afcon final and get all the latest betting site offers here.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

  • Ivory Coast come from behind to defeat Nigeria in Africa Cup of Nations final, live on Sky Sports Main Event

  • FT Ivory Coast claim victory after coming from a goal down to win (NGA 1-2 CIV)

  • 81’ GOAL! – Haller turns Adingra’s cross into the net (NGA 1-2 CIV)

  • 62’ GOAL! – Kessie heads in an equaliser (NGA 1-1 CIV)

  • 38’ GOAL! – Troost-Ekong powers a header into the back of the net (NGA 1-0 CIV)

  • 33’ SAVE! – Nwabali denies Adingra from close range (NGA 0-0 CIV)

  • 21’ CLOSE – Gradel’s overhead kick goes wide of the post (NGA 0-0 CIV)

Sebastien Haller’s late winner completes fairytale comeback as hosts Ivory Coast crowned Champions of Africa

22:38 , Mike Jones

Cancer survivor Sebastien Haller inspired hosts Ivory Coast to their third Africa Cup of Nations title with a late winner to seal a 2-1 comeback win over Nigeria in Abidjan.

Five of the last six host nations to reach the final had won the AFCON title, but the Ivory Coast’s appearance in this edition at one point looked unlikely, their 4-0 group-stage defeat to Equatorial Guinea leading to the mid-tournament sacking of Jean-Louis Gasset.

The resurgent Elephants, who under caretaker boss Emerse Fae earned the nickname ‘the Zombies’, fell behind when Nigeria captain William Troost-Ekong headed in a 38th-minute opener against the run of play, but it was cancelled out by Franck Kessie in the second half.

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Sebastien Haller’s late winner sees Ivory Coast crowned Champions of Africa

FT Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

22:47 , Mike Jones

The Elephants, who under caretaker boss Emerse Fae earned the nickname ‘the Zombies’ after resurrecting their campaign, recovered to reach the final.

They fell behind in the showpiece when Nigeria captain William Troost-Ekong headed in a 38th-minute opener against the run of play.

However, that was cancelled out by Franck Kessie in the second half midway through the second half as the Ivory Coast drew level but Sebastien Haller’s heroics in the final 10 minutes won them the trophy.

FT Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

22:46 , Mike Jones

Nigeria’s players head up to the stage to collect their runners-up medals. It’s the worst walk in football, to come so close and go away as the second best team.

Naturally they look deflated and dejected but on the night they were the second best team.

FT Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

22:44 , Mike Jones

Nigeria is now tied with Ghana for the dubious honour of most Afcon final defeats. Each nation have been runners-up at this tournament five times.

FT Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

22:30 , Mike Jones

Victor Osimhen took 24 shots in this tournament but scored only one goal.

Since 2010, only one player has taken as many shots and recorded as poor a conversion rate at this tournament, Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan with 25 shots and one goal in 2013.

FT Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

22:28 , Mike Jones

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FT Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

22:24 , Mike Jones

We’re still waiting for the trophy presentation.

The stadium is heaving, it’s packed, there’s singing and dancing in the stands. The very partisan crowd want an Ivory Coast victory and they’re got it.

FT Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

22:24 , Mike Jones

Emerse Faé has become the first manager to win the Africa Cup of Nations without starting the tournament as head coach of his team.

FT Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

22:21 , Mike Jones

Sebastien Haller underwent surgery in 2022 after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. He returned to professional football in 2023 and now has scored the winning goal in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

What a story.

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FT Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

22:19 , Mike Jones

Ivory Coast have become the fifth nation to win this tournament for a third time behind Egypt, Cameroon and Ghana. Here’s the newly updated list:

Egypt: 7 Afcon titles

Cameroon: 5

Ghana: 4

Ivory Coast: 3

Nigeria: 3

FT Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

22:15 , Mike Jones

Nigeria came into this match unbeaten in their past 22 Afcon games when scoring first, a streak dating back to 2010.

Full-time! Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

22:01 , Mike Jones

90+7 mins: Ivory Coast win the Africa Cup of Nations!

The final whistle goes and the tournament hosts, who could have exited this tournament on multiple occasions, get over the line. They’ve fought back from a goal down to defeat Nigeria.

Sebastien Haller’s late goal wins them the trophy. Wonderful scenes as the stadium erupts it joy and delight.

Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

21:59 , Mike Jones

90+6 mins: This is great game management from Ivory Coast. They’re passing the ball away from their area, taking time out of the game moving forward and slowing down play winning set pieces.

Nigeria need to create one more chance. One more opportunity to score.

Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

21:55 , Mike Jones

90+3 mins: A long throw in comes into the box but it gets scooped away by the hosts. The Super Eagles are awarded a free kick which is sent straight into the box.

Ivory Coast work it clear again.

Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

21:53 , Mike Jones

90 mins: Nigeria are the ones now forcing the tempo. There’s seven minutes of added time to play. That’s enough for an equaliser especially as Ivory Coast are dropping back to defend their lead.

Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

21:50 , Mike Jones

87 mins: Seko Fofana is booked for time-wasting as he hobbles off the pitch for Ivory Coast. Sebastien Haller also heads off as Ibrahim Sangare and Jean-Philippe Krasso are brought on for the final few minutes to see out this game.

There’ll be plenty of added time before this match is finished. It’s not over yet.

Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast

21:46 , Mike Jones

84 mins: Time is ticking away from Nigeria now and they really need to push for a goal. They’ve been second best all night but can they find a few more levels to force this final into extra time?

GOAL! Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast (Haller, 81’)

21:45 , Mike Jones

81 mins: Ivory Coast take the lead!

They’ve come from behind to get ahead of Nigeria. Simon Adingra takes on substitute Ousmane Diomande and whips a cross into the six yard box.

Sebastien Haller sticks out a leg and turns the ball into the far bottom corner. It’s an instinctive finish and could take Ivory Coast to the trophy!

Nigeria 1-1 Ivory Coast

21:40 , Mike Jones

78 mins: Victor Osimhen is clattered by Seko Fofana in the air. The Nigeria forward goes to ground and Fofana lands on his ankle which will hurt.

Both players need a bit of treatment.

Nigeria 1-1 Ivory Coast

21:37 , Mike Jones

75 mins: Close! There’s a huge gasp around the stadium as the ball comes into the Nigeria box again. Simon Adingra nods it across to Sebastien Haller who swivels onto a volley and pulls his shot wide of the near post!

The second drinks break is taken. 15 minutes to go in this final. Will there be a winner?

Nigeria 1-1 Ivory Coast

21:35 , Mike Jones

72 mins: Nwabali comes off his line to claim a cross that comes into the box from the right. Nigeria seem to have been told to be more proactive.

They’re looking forward and want to get up the pitch. That may create chances for Ivory Coast to get in behind.

Nigeria 1-1 Ivory Coast

21:31 , Mike Jones

68 mins: There is a bit of life in Nigeria. From another set piece, this one a free kick, the cross into the box finds Troost-Ekong who nods his effort over the top of the goal.

He’s proven he’s good in the air so Ivory Coast need to stay switched on.

Nigeria 1-1 Ivory Coast

21:27 , Mike Jones

65 mins: Ivory Coast have all the momentum now.

They came out in the second half determined to score and have done. Can they find a second to full capitalise on their dominance or will Nigeria respond?

GOAL! Nigeria 1-1 Ivory Coast (Kessie, 62’)

21:26 , Mike Jones

62 mins: Equaliser!

From the corner Simon Adingra swings the ball far over to the back post. Franck Kessie is wide open and his time to think about his finish.

He nods the ball into the deck and watches as it bounces over the diving goalkeeper and finishes in the back of the net.

Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast

21:24 , Mike Jones

60 mins: An hour played at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium and Nigeria still have their lead. Odilon Kossounou takes a shot from range and forces a low save out of Stanley Nwabali.

He palms the ball wide for a corner.

Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast

21:19 , Mike Jones

57 mins: Serge Aurier swings a deep cross into the box from the right side and finds Simon Adingra. He volleys a pass back into the middle but Ola Aina gets the block in.

Nigeria will want to assert more control onto this match.

Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast

21:15 , Mike Jones

54 mins: Penalty shout!

Gradel gets hold of the ball and tucks inside of Zaidu on his way into the penalty area. There’s a slight connection between the players as Zaidu goes to ground. He’s not trying to tackle but Gradel feels contact and goes down.

VAR doesn’t overturn the initial decision which is no penalty.

Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast

21:14 , Mike Jones

51 mins: Close!

Ivory Coast follow up the free kick by sending the ball back into the box. It comes to Gradel who shoots and has his effort blocked inside the six yard box.

Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast

21:12 , Mike Jones

48 mins: Ivory Coast win a free kick on the edge of the over to the right side of the penalty area. The set piece gets flicked into the box but Victor Osimhen is there to head away the initial ball.

Second half! Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast

21:08 , Mike Jones

Ivory Coast get the match back underway knowing they need to score to get back into this final. They’re playing well so there is hope unless Nigeria score again first.

HT Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast

20:57 , Mike Jones

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Half-time! Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast

20:51 , Mike Jones

45+4 mins: Seko Fofana takes a shot from range right at the end of the first half but it’s safely kept out. The whistle goes and Nigeria head down the tunnel with a slender lead.

Can they hold onto it for another 45 minutes?

Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast

20:46 , Mike Jones

45 mins: Four minutes of added time to play in the first half.

Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast

20:44 , Mike Jones

42 mins: Ivory Coast will be nervous now despite controlling most of this match. Nigeria have only conceded two goals in the entire tournament and the hosts have to score.

Another goal for Nigeria and the trophy could be theirs. Africa Cup of Nations finals don’t tend to be high scoring affairs.

GOAL! Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast (Troost-Ekong, 38’)

20:40 , Mike Jones

38 mins: Nigeria strike first!

From the corner the ball is whipped into the near post where it hits a Nigerian head, maybe Alex Iwobi’s, and loops up in the air. The Super Eagles’ captain, William Troost-Ekong comes towards the ball, leaps over Serge Aurier and powers it into the back of the net!

Against the run of play, Nigeria are ahead.

Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:38 , Mike Jones

36 mins: That was a chance for Nigeria. Zaidu is played into a lot of space on the left after Ivory Coast lose possession. His first touch is heavy though which allows the defender to get across and deflect the ball out of play for a corner.

Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:35 , Mike Jones

33 mins: Save! Haller releases the ball to Franck Kessie who sweeps a pass over to the left side of the penalty area. Adingra gets in behind Ola Aina then blasts a shot at goal.

He should score but the angle is tight and Stanley Nwabali palms the ball away!

Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:33 , Mike Jones

30 mins: Ivory Coast have been the better team over the first half an hour as the teams take a break to take on some fluids due the to high temperatures.

Nigeria need to work hard and get themselves properly into the match. They need more time in possession to put pressure back onto the hosts.

Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:30 , Mike Jones

27 mins: Ndicka and Osimhen clash after the forward felt he took a forearm to the back of his head. The referee does his best to separate the two.

That should add a bit more spice to the contest.

Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:24 , Mike Jones

24 mins: Nigeria haven’t managed to create a chance on goal yet – either on or off target. Ivory Coast meanwhile have had five with two being decent opportunities to score.

The Super Eagles will be patient though. Their quality up top and in defence means they may only need one chance to win this game.

Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:22 , Mike Jones

21 mins: Close! The corner ball is whipped into the penalty area and hits Evan Ndicka on the arm. It bounces loose and comes to Gradel who attempts an overhead kick from near the far post but sends the effort wide.

Ivory Coast are knocking on the door.

Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:21 , Mike Jones

19 mins: Zaidu Sanusi makes a mistake trying to head the ball back to his goalkeeper, Max Gradel nips in behind the defndder but just can’t reach the ball before it bounces out for a corner.

Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:18 , Mike Jones

16 mins: Nigeria’s first real foray into the Ivory Coast final third sees Samuel Chukwueze bring the ball through the middle before slipping a pass out to the left for Ademola Lookman.

He lifts a cross into the middle hoping to find Victor Osimhen but Evan Ndicka manages to get the ball clear before it reaches the striker.

Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:14 , Mike Jones

12 mins: Gradel gets forward down the right wing and sequeezes past Ademola Lookman before swinging in a cross. Haller is the target for Ivory Coast but the ball drops over the top of his head and Ola Aina boots the ball out of play.

Corner Ivory Coast.

Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:10 , Mike Jones

9 mins: Adingra takes his first shot at the target but lifts it up and over the goal. Calvin Bassesy is then punished for a foul over on Nigeria’s left side.

Ivory Coast win another free kick and are the team forcing the issue in these opening stages.

Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:08 , Mike Jones

6 mins: The Elephants win themselves a corner, their first of the match. It gets swung into the penalty area by Max-Alain Gradel but Alex Iwobi is on hand to nod it out of the penalty area.

The hosts recycle the ball with a pass out to Simon Adingra. He curls a pass into the middle but the ball just bobbles away from Sebastien Haller and heads wide.

Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:05 , Mike Jones

3 mins: Ivory Coast lost to Nigeria in the group stages but it was a fairly even contest. The tournament hosts have shown more threat in front of goal since the return of Sebastien Haller and will challenge the Super Eagles tonight.

Ivory Coast are getting on the ball and pushing high. They’ve won a couple of free kicks in dangerous areas but nothing has come from either.

Kick off! Nigeria 0-0 Ivory Coast

20:01 , Mike Jones

Nigeria get the match underway and work the ball over to the left side. They switch it quickly and probe the opposite wing but Ivory Coast recover possession and look to build out from the back.

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast

19:54 , Mike Jones

Here come the players.

The fireworks have been set off, the closing ceremony is done and dusted. All that remains is for the Africa Cup of Nations final to begin.

Who will be on the winning side tonight?

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast

19:50 , Mike Jones

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London at the heart of Nigeria’s Afcon bid

19:45 , Mike Jones

Nigeria will have a strong London connection in tonight’s Africa Cup of Nations final with key players born in Britain likely to line up against the Ivory Coast.

There are four players born in the boroughs of the British capital in the Nigerian squad plus two other key regulars, Calvin Bassey and midfielder Alex Iwobi, who have lived in London from an early age.

Ola Aina, Semi Ajayi and Ademola Lookman are English-born and have made a major contribution to Nigeria’s progress to the final.

Joe Aribo, also from London and who struggled with injury at the start of the tournament, has had limited game time but has contributed off the bench.

Lookman, who is Nigeria’s top scorer at the tournament with three goals, is proving an excellent partner in attack alongside African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen.

Aina has emerged as arguably the best right back on view over the last month in the Ivory Coast while centre back Ajayi has played every minute of their six games.

By Mark Gleeson.

Hollywood ending for Ivory Coast?

19:39 , Mike Jones

Ivory Coast have had the most improbable run; minutes away from a group stage exit, they sacked the manager, regrouped and went again under caretaker Emerse Fae. Late comebacks, stunning winners, penalties… everything has gone their way since and the 1-0 win over DR Congo put them in a first final in almost a decade.

More than that, the team have gone from national embarrassment, through restoring respectability and now to the point of being heroes in a few short weeks.

Since their last Afcon win in 2015, Ivory Coast have failed to qualify for two successive World Cup finals, in Russia and Qatar. They also failed to get past the quarter-finals in three straight Afcon appearances, underperforming squads filled with the likes of Wilfried Bony, Jean Michael Seri, Salomon Kalou, Wilfried Zaha and Eric Bailly.

It all makes the scale of this year’s turnaround all the more notable, while victory in the final itself would bring them level with three Afcon triumphs with their opponents, Nigeria. But sometimes in football, in any sport in fact, fairytale stories don’t have that incredible, improbable, unbelievable-yet-believable Hollywood-style ending.

Ivory Coast need a home soil hero but is Victor Osimhen finally ready to spoil the party?

19:32 , Mike Jones

Hitting the back of the net in the quarter-finals and the semi-finals of a major international tournament should, usually, see strikers head into the final itself brimming with confidence and expectant of leading their country to glory.

When that centre-forward has also been one of the game’s elite goalscorers over the past few seasons, even more so. Yet for Nigeria and Victor Osimhen, there’s perhaps instead a lingering sense of frustration, annoyance and unfulfilment, a feeling that he has been thwarted by fractions and unable to be at his explosive best.

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Ivory Coast need a hero but Nigeria’s superstar can spoil their party

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast

19:26 , Mike Jones

How to watch the Afcon final

Nigeria take on hosts Ivory Coast on Sunday 11 February, at 8pm GMT. The game will take place at Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

Is the final on TV?

The Afcon final will be broadcast live on BBC Three as well as Sky Sports’ Main Event and Premier League channels.

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast

19:22 , Mike Jones

The previous nine Afcon finals have produced a total of just seven goals. Three of those came in 2017 when Cameroon beat Egypt 2-1.

The last final ended in a goalless draw before Senegal beat Egypt in a penalty shootout.

Ivory Coast team changes

19:17 , Mike Jones

Ivory Coast also make two changes with both coming in defence.

Captain Serge Aurier comes in for Wilfried Singo at right-back, while at centre half, Odilon Kossounou, who has served his one-match ban after being red-carded in the quarter-final against Mali, replaces Willy Boly.

The 36-year-old Max Gradel continues on the right wing.

Nigeria team changes

19:08 , Mike Jones

Jose Peseiro makes two changes for Nigeria.

Zaidu Sanusi comes in at left wing-back, with Ola Aina moving to the right side and Bright Osayi-Samuel dropping out. Samuel Chukwueze replaces Moses Simon on the right wing after an impressive cameo off the bench in the semi-final.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria line-ups

19:05 , Mike Jones

Ivory Coast XI: Y. Fofana; Aurier, Kossounou, Ndicka, Konan; Kessie, Seri, S. Fofana; Gradel, Haller, Adingra.

Substitutes: B. A. Sangare; Diomande, Singo, Diallo, Lazare, I. Sangare, Boga, Bamba, Pepe, Diakite, Krasso, Kouame.

Nigeria XI: Nwabali; Ajayi, Troost-Ekong, Bassey; Aina, Iwobi, Onyeka, Sanusi; Chukwueze, Osimhen, Lookman.

Substitutes: Uzoho; Osayi-Samuel, Awaziem, Omeruo, Yusuf, Aribo, Onyedika, Simon, Musa, Moffi, Iheanacho, Onuachu.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

18:57 , Mike Jones

Emerse Fae was part of the Ivorian side that finished runners-up in 2006, where he played every minute of the campaign.

He now has to ensure the two-time champions score their first goal in a Nations Cup final, with their four previous appearances in the continent’s showpiece football finale all going to penalties after ending goalless.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

18:51 , Mike Jones

Nigeria reached the Afcon final after beating South Africa in a penalty shootout. William Troost-Ekong, Nigeria’s captain, put his side ahead with a 67th-minute penalty which had been won by Victor Osimhen.

The Napoli star thought he had sealed victory for with a close-range finish in the 85th minute, but the goal was overturned by VAR and South Africa were awarded a penalty following a foul in the build-up.

Teboho Mokoena converted from the spot to make it 1-1 and the game went to extra time where both teams had chances to win it.

Goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali was the hero of the shootout secured victory for Nigeria.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

18:46 , Mike Jones

Patson Daka spoke about Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho, his Leicester City team-mate who scored the clinching penalty in the semi-final shootout win over South Africa.

“Everyone knows the quality that he possesses and he is someone that can deliver at any time,” said Daka, “You could see the confidence that everyone has in him to give him the last penalty kick.

“I was really scared watching the game, but really happy at the end. He very rarely misses but with penalties it is different. No matter how many you have taken before, it’s always different.”

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

18:41 , Mike Jones

Emerse Fae replaced Jean-Louis Gasset as Ivory Coast’s head coach following the shocking start to the group stages.

Since then, the hosts have swept through the knockout rounds, clinching tight contests against Senegal and Mali before making it all the way to the final.

Having previously coached Nice’s youth teams and the reserve team of French Ligue 1 club Clermont Foot, Fae – who had been Gasset’s assistant since the latter’s appointment in May 2022 – rejected talk of him being a “special one” on Saturday.

“I said from the start that I was fortunate to know the squad for two years,” he said. “We just tried to focus on building the right chemistry – I haven’t invented anything but done all the basics, like making all the players feel important and building cohesion.

“We deserve to be in the final and the most important thing was to regain confidence, rebuild the team and it was good to tidy things in defence. We’ve been taking things one step at a time.”

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

18:23 , Mike Jones

During all three of Nigeria’s Afcon triumphs, the Super Eagles played Ivory Coast. They have won three times and lost twice during the seven previous meetings at the finals.

This final could be a close one.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

17:55 , Mike Jones

Nigeria have conceded just two goals in six games during this tournament. William Troost-Ekong and long-term West Brom defender Semi Ajayi marshalling the back line brilliantly.

At the other end of the pitch they have scored seven with Ademola Lookman the most threatening attacker, top scoring with three goals.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

17:32 , Mike Jones

Victor Osimhen has only scored once from 24 attempts on goal at the 2023 Nations Cup finals, albeit while having had two goals ruled out by VAR and another disallowed for handball.

Nigeria teammate, Ademola Lookman, has netted three times.

“He doesn’t play like a star, but fights for the team,” said Nigeria boss Jose Peseiro, “He knows he’s an important player and because of that, he suffers for the team – getting kicked around – but he helps us as much as the team helps him. It’s a collective effort and we fight together.”

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

16:59 , Mike Jones

Nigeria cruised through the group stages with seven points before defeating Cameroon, Angola and South Africa in the knockout stages.

Ivory Coast suffered a defeat to the Super Eagles then were beaten 4-0 by Equatorial Guinea – a record home and Nations Cup loss.

They reached the knockout rounds as one of the best third-placed sides before coming to life with dramatic knockout wins over Senegal and Mali then beating DR Congo in the last four.

Can they claim the trophy tonight?

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

16:23 , Mike Jones

Nigeria’s head coach, Jose Peseiro, is only thinking about winning tonight’s final.

After a slow but steady start to the tournament the Super Eagles have reached the Afcon showpiece and may be the slight favourites to claim the trophy despite Ivory Coast playing at home.

“The atmosphere will be fantastic and my players and staff all prefer to play in a full stadium, despite the level of noise,” said Peseiro yesterday.

“Ivory Coast were favourites ahead of this tournament, but we want to win this Nations Cup. My only plan is to beat Ivory Coast and win this trophy for the people of Nigeria.”

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

15:52 , Mike Jones

Ivory Coast are the first host nation to reach the Afcon final since Egypt in 2006, with five of the last six hosts to have contested the final having gone on to lift the trophy.

The only exception to this stat being Nigeria in 2000.

Unbeaten unlike their opponents, the Nigerians are the highest-ranked of the finalists – rated sixth in Africa (and 42nd in the world), as opposed to Ivory Coast’s African ranking of eighth (and 49th overall).

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

15:12 , Mike Jones

Who will triumph in the Africa Cup of Nations final?

The Super Eagles are aiming for a fourth continental crown in Abidjan while the Ivorians are looking to add to their triumphs in 1992 and 2015.

The teams meet for the second time at this tournament, 24 days after the Ivorians suffered a first-ever home defeat by Nigeria who won 1-0 in the group stage.

Can Nigeria repeat that performance on the biggest stage?

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

14:31 , Jamie Braidwood

London at the heart of Nigeria’s Afcon bid

By Mark Gleeson

Nigeria will have a strong London connection in tonight’s Africa Cup of Nations final with key players born in Britain likely to line up against the Ivory Coast.

There are four players born in the boroughs of the British capital in the Nigerian squad plus two other key regulars, Calvin Bassey and midfielder Alex Iwobi, who have lived in London from an early age.

Ola Aina, Semi Ajayi and Ademola Lookman are English-born and have made a major contribution to Nigeria’s progress to the final.

Joe Aribo, also from London and who struggled with injury at the start of the tournament, has had limited game time but has contributed off the bench.

Lookman, who is Nigeria’s top scorer at the tournament with three goals, is proving an excellent partner in attack alongside African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen.

Aina has emerged as arguably the best right back on view over the last month in the Ivory Coast while centre back Ajayi has played every minute of their six games.

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Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

13:31 , Jamie Braidwood

Hollywood ending for Ivory Coast?

Ivory Coast have had the most improbable run; minutes away from a group stage exit, they sacked the manager, regrouped and went again under caretaker Emerse Fae. Late comebacks, stunning winners, penalties… everything has gone their way since and the 1-0 win over DR Congo put them in a first final in almost a decade.

More than that, the team have gone from national embarrassment, through restoring respectability and now to the point of being heroes in a few short weeks.

Since their last Afcon win in 2015, Ivory Coast have failed to qualify for two successive World Cup finals, in Russia and Qatar. They also failed to get past the quarter-finals in three straight Afcon appearances, underperforming squads filled with the likes of Wilfried Bony, Jean Michael Seri, Salomon Kalou, Wilfried Zaha and Eric Bailly.

It all makes the scale of this year’s turnaround all the more notable, while victory in the final itself would bring them level with three Afcon triumphs with their opponents, Nigeria. But sometimes in football, in any sport in fact, fairytale stories don’t have that incredible, improbable, unbelievable-yet-believable Hollywood-style ending.

 (AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

12:47 , Jamie Braidwood

Road to the final – Nigeria

Group C

Jan 14 (Abidjan) drew 1-1 with Equatorial Guinea (Victor Osimhen)

Jan 18 (Abidjan) beat Ivory Coast 1-0 (William Troost-Ekong pen)

Jan 22 (Abidjan) beat Guinea Bissau 1-0 (Opa Sangante own goal)

Last 16

Jan 27 (Abidjan) beat Cameroon 2-0 (Ademola Lookman 2)

Quarter-final

Feb 2 (Abidjan) beat Angola 1-0 (Lookman)

Semi-final

Feb 7 (Bouake) beat South Africa 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw (Troost-Ekong pen)

 (AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

12:02 , Jamie Braidwood

Road to the final – Ivory Coast

Group Stages

Jan 13 (Abidjan) beat Guinea Bissau 2-0 (Seko Fofana, Jean-Philippe Krasso)

Jan 18 (Abidjan) lost to Nigeria 0-1

Jan 22 (Abidjan) lost to Equatorial Guinea 0-4

Last 16

Jan 29 (Yamoussoukro) beat Senegal 5-4 on penalties after 1-1 draw (Franck Kessie pen)

Quarter-final

Feb 3 (Bouake) beat Mali 2-1 after extra time (Simon Adingra, Oumar Diakite)

Semi-final

Feb 7 (Abidjan) beat DR Congo 1-0 (Sebastien Haller)

Sebastien Haller steered Ivory Coast into an improbable AFCON final (AP)

Sebastien Haller steered Ivory Coast into an improbable AFCON final (AP)

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

11:33 , Jamie Braidwood

Predicted line-ups

Nigeria: Nwabali, Troost-Ekong, Ajayi, Bassey, Aina, Osayi-Samuel, Onyeka, Iwobi, Simon, Lookman, Osimhen.

Ivory Coast: Fofana, Konan, Ndicka, Boly, Singo, Kessie, Seri, Seko Fofana, Adingra, Haller, Gradel.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

11:15 , Jamie Braidwood

Hitting the back of the net in the quarter-finals and the semi-finals of a major international tournament should, usually, see strikers head into the final itself brimming with confidence and expectant of leading their country to glory. When that centre-forward has also been one of the game’s elite goalscorers over the past few seasons, even more so. Yet for Nigeria and Victor Osimhen, there’s perhaps instead a lingering sense of frustration, annoyance and unfulfilment, a feeling that he has been thwarted by fractions and unable to be at his explosive best.

Big-match preview, by Karl Matchett

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Ivory Coast need a hero but Nigeria’s superstar can spoil their party

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

10:59 , Jamie Braidwood

How to watch online

The game will be streamed live on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport apps and websites. Sky Sports customers can access coverage via the Sky Go app and website.

If you’re travelling abroad and want to watch major sporting events, you might need a VPN to unblock your streaming app. Our VPN round-up is here to help and includes deals on VPNs in the market. Viewers using a VPN need to make sure that they comply with any local regulations where they are, and also with the terms of their service provider.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

10:45 , Jamie Braidwood

When and where is the Afcon final?

Nigeria take on hosts Ivory Coast on Sunday 11 February, at 8pm GMT. The game will take place at Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

Is the final on TV?

The Afcon final will be broadcast live on BBC Three as well as Sky Sports’ Main Event and Premier League channels.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria LIVE: Latest Afcon final build-up and updates

10:15 , Jamie Braidwood

Ivory Coast take on Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations final as a thrilling tournament concludes with a blockbuster final in Abidja.

Ivory Coast, the tournament hosts, suffered a torrid start to their campaign and sacked their head coach, Jean-Louis Gasset, following a 4-0 humiliation by Equatorial Guinea. Yet they squeezed through to the knockout stages as a best third-placed team and then proceeded to knock out reigning champions Senegal, much-fancied Mali and DR Congo in the semi-finals to book their place in the final.

Nigeria had steamrolled through most of this Africa Cup of Nations until their tense semi-final with South Africa, which went to a penalty shootout, where Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho put away the winning spot-kick. Nigeria are looking to secure their fourth Afcon title, while Ivory Coast would win their third if they can finish their extraordinary campaign with victory in the country’s capital, Abidjan.

Folllow all the latest Afcon final build-up, team news and more below, and get all the latest betting site offers on the final here.



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