Ivory Coast win 2024 AFCON
Hosts Ivory Coast capped a remarkable turn around by winning the 2024 AFCON trophy
- Hosts Ivory Coast overcame Nigeria 2-1 in a cagey final to lift the trophy.
- Les Elephants replaced manager Jean-Louis Gasset with new coach Emerse Faé halfway through the tournament.
- Having finished 3rd in the group stages, Ivory Coast beat the likes of DR Congo, Mali, and Senegal to reach the final.
- Winning goal scorer Sebastian Haller has only returned to full time action in the past 12 months, following his cancer recovery.
When it comes to unpredictability, very few sporting tournaments can compete with the African Cup of Nations.
With some of the very best players in the world in action, it is always a competition that interests domestic and international betting sites and Ivory Coast’s triumph this year was nothing short of miraculous.
Hosts Ivory Coast are always one of the sides to look out for in any AFCON tournament but all looked doomed for them in the group stages.
However, changing manager from Jean-Louis Gasset to Emerse Faé in the throes of the tournament was always going to be risky but it was a gamble that has categorically paid off.
Ivory Coast have won the African Cup of Nations for the third time in their history but that only tells a fraction of the incredible story that saw Les Elephants taste glory again.
Back from the brink
As with the European Championships, having 24 teams in the group stages poses pros and cons for all of the sides involved.
Having picked up two losses from their opening 3 games, Ivory Coast looked to be doomed, yet managing to sneak through to the last 16 as one of the third placed teams, enabled them to create AFCON history.
Losing to Nigeria in the group stages was palatable but their 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea sparked widespread anguish across the Ivory Coast, as it looked as if the hosts were on the way out of the competition.
Change in personnel
Managerial changes often have instant impacts across all levels of sport but seldom do sides opt to change their manager halfway through a tournament.
The cut-throat decision made by the Ivory Coast to replace Jean-Louis Gasset with Emerse Faé was seen as a hugely risky one, but it of course paid off ahead of the knockout stages.
Having snuck through to the last 16, Ivory Coast edged out Senegal on penalties, before beating Mali and DR Congo by the odd goal to reach the final against Nigeria, in a clash courted by punters and online betting all over the world.
Haller the hero
Borussia Dortmund striker Sebastian Haller has long been touted as one of the best strikers in the world but a testicular cancer diagnosis in 2021 threatened to derail his career.
However, the former Ajax and West Ham man remained determined to comeback better than ever and his presence in this Ivory Coast side is huge.
How fitting it was for Haller to score the winning goal, in the African Cup of Nations final, sparking wild scenes of celebration in the Ivory Coast and etching his name into AFCON folklore forever.
Hosts Ivory Coast channeled the spirit of a nation to win the 2024 African Cup of Nations but that doesn’t tell half of the story.
An incredible comeback win, from the brink of elimination and with a striker recovering from cancer scoring the winning goal, Ivory Coast’s 2024 AFCON triumph will live long in the memory for fans, punters and online betting sites.