Ivory Coast Through To Afcon Final, Bafana's Next Opponent Confirmed
Hosts Ivory Coast booked their spot in the Africa Cup of Nations final after defeating Democratic Republic of Congo 1-0 on Wednesday evening.
2023 Africa Cup of Nations
Result: Cote d'Ivoire 1-0 Congo DR
Date: 07 February 2024
Venue: Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara
The Elephants handed Sébastien Haller his first start of the tournament among four changes that included Willy Boly, Wilfried Singo and Simon Andingra, as Serge Aurier, Oumar Diakite and Odilon Kossounou were all suspended.
The game got off to a bright start but Ivory Coast had the first real chance on 18 minutes after Andingra guided a header in the box just wide from a cross by Singo.
Emerse Fae's charges had the momentum in the closing phase of the first stanza as Franck Kessie was unfortunate not to give them the lead heading into the break witha strike that came off the post.
The Leopards had a positive start in the second stanza as four minutes in Theo Bongonda came close to the equaliser with a strike in the box that missed just wide.
However, Ivory Coast regained their dominance after the hour-mark and Haller eventually broke the deadlock on 65 minutes with a strike into the roof of the net after a lofted through ball by Max Gradel.
Fae's troops started to have more chances on the break, as Haller came close twice within a short period of time but could not bury the game.
Congo could build up momentum after a cooling break with 15 minutes to go and it was the Elephants who had the upper hand in the dying minutes, as they held on and setup a final clash against Nigeria on Sunday.
DR Congo will play against Bafana Bafana in the third/fourth encounter on Saturday.