With an interim coach and in crisis, the hosts Ivory Coast of this year’s edition of the tournament overcame themselves. And now they are three-time champions.
The Ivorian team beat Nigeria 2-1 in the final, coming from behind, and lifted the cup for the third time. The hero of the victory made the story even more impressive: Haller overcame cancer to, this Sunday, secure one of the most important victories for his team.
With this, Ivory Coast ties with Nigeria in the number of achievements. Both are three-time champions. The Ivorian team had won its other two titles in 1992 and 2015.
The Nigerian team now ties with Ghana as the biggest runners-up, with five final defeats each. The team that has won the African Cup the most times is Egypt, with seven cups.
The big hero of the night was striker Haller, who experienced great drama in his life when he discovered, in 2022, testicular cancer. He was away from football for six months, underwent chemotherapy and surgery and recovered.
But, in the African Cup, he suffered an injury in Ivory Coast’s preparations. The Borussia Dortmund striker only debuted in the round of 16. To be decisive. Haller scored the winning goal in the 1-0 victory against DR Congo in the semi-final and the winning goal against Nigeria in the final.