The Ivory Coast continues its remarkable journey in the Africa Cup of Nations. Despite the turmoil of dismissing their head coach during the group stages, the host nation finds themselves just one victory away from clinching the tournament title after a hard-fought 1-0 triumph over DR Congo on Wednesday. Dortmund striker Sebastien Haller secured the decisive goal in the second half, setting up a final showdown against Nigeria on Sunday.
Sebastien Haller emerged as the hero, propelling Ivory Coast closer to their dream of claiming their maiden AFCON title on home turf with a crucial 1-0 win over DR Congo in a fiercely contested semi-final clash in Abidjan.
Having narrowly escaped elimination in the group stage, the hosts showcased resilience and determination, delivering one of their most impressive performances of the tournament.
Despite DR Congo’s spirited efforts, Ivory Coast stood firm, denying their opponents any opportunity to alter the outcome. DR Congo, making their first semi-final appearance since 2015, believed they had taken the lead early on through Cedric Bakambu, but the goal was disallowed due to a foul on goalkeeper Yahia Fofana.
As the first half progressed, Ivory Coast grew in confidence and came close to breaking the deadlock before halftime. Sebastien Haller missed a golden opportunity with a headed effort, while Franck Kessie’s strike rattled the post, leaving the Ivorians unlucky not to seize the lead.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 65th minute when Borussia Dortmund’s Haller unleashed a powerful volley that bounced off the turf, sailing past Lionel Mpasi into the net.
Despite DR Congo’s late surge in search of an equaliser, Ivory Coast held firm, thwarting their opponents’ aspirations and securing their place in the final.
With their eyes firmly set on glory, Ivory Coast now prepares to face Nigeria in Sunday’s final showdown in Abidjan.