AFCON final: Nigeria vs Ivory Coast live score, result, updates, highlights from 2024 title match

Two teams riding late magic and second wind throughout the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will play for the title in Abidjan as hosts Ivory Coast meet Nigeria in the AFCON final on Sunday.

Ivory Coast looked to have been eliminated in the group stage when they were beaten in consecutive matches to close out the round, but they managed to squeak through to the Round of 16 and have made the most of their new life under interim head coach Emerse Fae.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Elephants then went on to eliminate defending champions Senegal after a penalty shootout and slide past Mali in the quarterfinals on a 122nd-minute winner. It was then up to Sebastien Haller whose 55th-minute goal against DR Congo in the semifinals was enough to book a place in the title match.

Nigeria, meanwhile, had their own nine lives to burn through, securing a nervy 1-0 win against Angola in the quarters before a truly bonkers semifinal match against South Africa saw them one missed opportunity away from elimination. Yet staring an early exit in the face, the Super Eagles managed to hunker down and advance following a penalty shootout as goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali made his latest case for the Golden Glove award.

Now, as two has-been African powerhouses clash, redemption is on the line as one nation will emerge with a solid foundation for a rebuild back to their former glory, while the other will fall short of the necessary silverware to claim they are indeed back amongst the continent’s upper football echelon.

The Sporting News is following the AFCON final between Nigeria and Ivory Coast live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.

AFCON final: Nigeria vs Ivory Coast live score

  Score Goal scorers
Ivory Coast

Starting lineups:

Nigeria (3-4-3, right to left): 23. Nwabili (GK) — 6. Ajayi, 5. Troost-Ekong, 21. Bassey — 3. Sanusi, 8. Onyeka, 17. Iwobi, 2. Aina — 11. Chukwueze, 9. Osimhen, 18. Lookman.

Ivory Coast (4-3-3, predicted): Y. Fofana (GK) — Singo, Boly, N’Dicka, Konan — Kessie, Seri, Fofana — Gradel, Haller, Adingra.

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast live updates, highlights, commentary

1 hour 30 mins to kick: Nigeria have continued their habit of releasing their starting lineup earlier than required. There are two changes to the starting XI from head coach Jose Peseiro, as he brings Zaidu Sanusi back from injury into midfield, while Samuel Chukwueze replaces Moses Simon on the wing.

1 hour 45 mins to kick: Ivory Coast, hosts of this year’s AFCON tournament, were dead in the water. An embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea in their final group stage match all but sealed their fate, unlikely to advance as a third-place finisher with just three points and a poor goal differential.

It led to the dismissal of head coach Jean-Louis Gasset, with the axe dropping before their exit was even officially confirmed.

Then, the unthinkable happened. Somehow, the hosts found themselves through to the knockout stage as the final third-place qualifier. Now, just 20 days after all 60,000 fans at Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium stood in stunned silence, the home crowd at that very same venue will again be at full voice as their beloved Elephants play for the title. Never, ever, give the hosts new life.

2 hours to kickoff: As the reigning African Player of the Year, the continent’s highest individual honour, Victor Osimhen was expected to lead Nigeria from the front as they pushed for AFCON glory. If you told a Super Eagles fan before the competition that Nigeria would reach the final, you’d expect Osimhen to be near the front of the Golden Boot race.

Instead, he has just one single goal, coming in their very first group-stage match of the tournament. Yet he’s still been front and center of all Nigeria’s attacking moves, collecting chances for himself and opening up spaces for teammates as well. Osimhen has seen a goal disallowed by VAR in each of the past two games and has served up three assists as the likes of Ademola Lookman and Alex Iwobi profit from the attention on their talisman striker.

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast lineups, team news

There was a scare for Nigeria when Victor Osimhen was stretchered off late against Angola in the quarterfinal victory, but he was cleared for action in the semifinals and will be available to take the field here as well. Alongside him, Samuel Chukwueze takes over on the wing for Moses Simon in the only tactical change for the final.

The Super Eagles are missing the attacking presence of Victor Boniface, who was injured in pre-tournament training and has missed not only the entire AFCON competition, but will also be out for the next few weeks after returning to Bayer Leverkusen for his recovery.

Also absent due to injury is midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, who is missing after suffering a long-term muscle injury, while Umar Sadiq of Real Sociedad is not with the squad due to a knee problem. Left wing-back Zaidu Sanusi was missing from the semifinal starting lineup, and while he was a doubt for the final according to head coach Jose Peseiro, he has returned to full availability.

Nigeria starting lineup (3-4-3): Nwabili (GK) — Ajayi, Troost-Ekong, Bassey — Sanusi, Onyeka, Iwobi, Aina — Chukwueze, Osimhen, Lookman.

Nigeria subs (12): (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)

There are no new injuries to the Ivory Coast squad to worry about as they gear up for the AFCON final. They are without oft-injured defender Eric Bailly, and Wilfried Zaha was controversially left off the roster for the tournament.

Star striker Sebastien Haller missed the group stage with an ankle injury, but has returned for the knockout matches, playing his first full 90 minutes of the competition in the semifinals when his second-half goal provided Ivory Coast their place in the title game.

One player critical to Ivory Coast’s turnaround has been former Fulham and current Hull City midfielder Jean-Michel Seri, who did not play a single minute in the group stage but has started all three knockout matches under interim head coach Emerse Fae.

Ivory Coast projected starting lineup (4-3-3): Y. Fofana (GK) — Singo, Boly, N’Dicka, Konan — Kessie, Seri, Fofana — Gradel, Haller, Adingra.

Ivory Coast subs (12): (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)

How to watch Nigeria vs Ivory Coast

  Date Time TV Channel Streaming
USA Sun, Feb. 11 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT beIN Sports, beIN Sports en Espanol Fubo USA, beIN Sports Connect, Fanatiz
UK Sun, Feb. 11 8 p.m. GMT BBC3, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Premier League BBC web/iPlayer, Sky GO Extra
Australia Mon, Feb. 12 5 a.m. AEDT beIN Sports 2 beIN Sports Connect
Canada Sun, Feb. 11 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT beIN Sports, beIN Sports en Espanol Fubo Canada, beIN Sports Connect
India Mon, Feb. 12 12:30 a.m. IST  — FanCode

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final between Nigeria and Ivory Coast will be broadcast on beIN Sports in the United States and Canada, with a Spanish-language broadcast available on beIN Sports en Espanol.

Both channels are available to stream on Fubo in both the United States (Fubo USA) and Canada (Fubo Canada). It can also be streamed on beIN Sports’ platform for those with valid login credentials.

BeIN Sports is also the rights-holder in Australia, with the match broadcast on beIN Sports 2. In the UK, the match will be broadcast by both BBC and Sky Sports across multiple platforms, as well as the dedicated streaming services for both providers.

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