2023 AFCON FINAL: Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire Rekindle Rivalry In Abidjan

  • CAF picks Mauritania’s Dahane Beida as Centre Referee

BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI – Considered by many pundits as coming back from the dead in this tournament, The Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire will today seek to complete their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 fairy tale when they take on  Nigeria’s Super Eagles in the final match inside the resplendent Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan, the Ivory capital.

With the continent’s soccer governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) launching the official poster as the curtain falls on the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 Final, this tournament, without any doubt, has been one full of drama, excitement, stoppage-time goals, VAR interventions, and incredible storylines.

And this final will specially rekindle memories of their Group A encounter in which Nigeria came out tops with a 1-0 victory. Interestingly, The Elephants are targeting their third continental crown, having emerged victorious in 1992 and 2015, while the Super Eagles are in search of their fourth AFCON title.

For the Ivorians, the risk of being eliminated at the Group stage was so real when they lost two matches out of three. However, qualifying by whiskers, they went on to take out tournament favourites and defending champions Senegal, Mali, and DR Congo en route to this final.

For the Super Eagles, three times winners in 1980, 1994, and 2013, they were able to shake off their not-too-impressive group games, to defeat Cameroon in the Round of 16, before eliminating Angola and South Africa in the quarter-final and semi-final stages to set a date with the Elephants.

No doubt, football fans expect a tight contest with the guarantee of scintillating entertainment in an edition that football experts have already touted as one of the greatest of all time in the history of this continental championship.

Going by head-to-head and recent form, the Ivorians are certainly the most motivated team in this tournament. Shaking off their poor start to the tournament, they have nothing to lose. They defeated Mali 1-0 in the semi-final to advance.

On Nigeria’s part, the Super Eagles are under pressure to deliver for the first time in 11 years. They needed a 4-2 shootout win to eliminate South Africa from contention after a 1-1 draw in both regulation and extra time.

Both countries are set to meet for the fifth time in the AFCON tournament since 2006. Of interest is the fact that victories and losses have been evenly shared, with no draws. Their recent meeting was in the ongoing edition whereby the Super Eagles won by a solitary goal scored by William Troost-Ekong from the penalty spot.

CAF Announces Mauritanian Referee Dahane Beida For Today’s Clash

Dahane Beida

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has named Mauritania’s Dahane Beida as the Centre referee for today’s highly anticipated final match.

Aged 32, Dahane Beida will be marking his third appearance at this year’s tournament. Previously, he officiated the match between Egypt and Mozambique, which ended in a 2-2 draw during the group stage, as well as the Round of 16 clash where Angola secured a 3-0 victory over Namibia.

Assisting Dahane Beida will be Emiliano Dos Santos from Angola and Diana Chicotesha from Zambia while Morocco’s Bouchra Karboubi will serve as the fourth official.

The role of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be handled by Mahmoud Ashour from Egypt, with Rivet Maria Pakuita from Mauritius as the Assistant VAR.

Beida’s extensive refereeing experience includes officiating matches in various prestigious competitions such as the U17 World Cup in New Zealand last year, as well as the second leg of the final of the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup 2022/23 between USM Alger and Young Africans in Algiers.

Besides officiating in the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League, CAF TotalEnergies Confederation Cup, and the African Football League, he played a significant role in last year’s African Nations Championship held in Algeria.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply