The 2023 Total Energies African Cup of Nations winner is Ivory Coast. They defeated Nigeria, the 2013 champions, 2 goals to 1. The hosts overcame a deficit to grab the lead against the super eagles thanks to two goals in the second half.

Simon Adingra, a Brighton winger and product of the Right to Dream academy, worked his magic to produce both assists. Franck Kessie, who  was at the receiving end of the first assist on the 62nd minute, jumped to head home a high-flying cross following a corner kick. Kessie headed the ball into the ground, which bounced off into the net.

In the 81st minute, Sebastian Haller, a forward for Dortmund, hooked the second assist from Adingra into the net to give the Ivorians the lead. He stretched his legs in order to make contact with Adingra’s low cross in the box, which passed Nwabali.

Due to his significant contribution, Adingra went on to win Man of the match award, and eventually the tournament’s best young player.

However, Troost-Ekong’s header from a corner kick gave Nigeria the lead in the 38th minute, a lead they would not be able to sustain the rest of the match.

Côte D’Ivoire’s Journey to the Trophy

Ivory Coast had to finish fourth among the four best-placed third-place teams from the group stages in order to advance to the knockout stages. They only prevailed against Guinea Bissau in their first game, then lost their next two games to Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, who were finalists.

After that, they had to defeat Senegal in the Round 1/16 via penalty shootouts, defeat Mali in the quarterfinals in extra time by a score of two goals to one, defeat DR Congo by a goal in the semifinals, and ultimately defeat Nigeria in the finals.

Best Performers corner

Equatorial Guinea’s Emilio Nsue took up the golden boot title after scoring five goals in all. Gelson Dala of Angola received the silver boot, and Mostafa Mohammed of Morocco received the bronze boot. The golden gloves, awarded to the finest goalkeeper of the tournament, went to Ronwen Williams of South Africa, who made a name for himself with six saves in penalty shootouts during the knockout stages. Nigeria’s captain William Troost Ekong won the player of the tournament award.

The South African national team won the fair play team, and Emerse Faé, the coach of Côte D’Ivoire, was named the tournament’s best coach.

With three AFCON trophies overall, Côte D’Ivoire is presently tied with Nigeria. Ghana (4), Cameroon (5), and Egypt (7) are the only nations with more.

The next AFCON will be held in Morocco in 2025.