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Ivory Coast Celebrates Victory In Africa Cup of Nations Against Nigeria

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On Monday, thousands of joyous Ivory Coast supporters flocked to the streets of Abidjan to commemorate their nation’s Africa Cup of Nations victory.

Cheering and chanting, the fans burst from the commuter buses near the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny Stadium, blowing vuvuzelas and whistles. Many of them dashed to catch the team’s triumphant procession through the city.

After victories in 1992 and 2015, the Elephants defeated Nigeria 2-1 in the final on Sunday to win the nation’s third championship. It sparked wild celebrations that raged throughout Abidjan’s night and beyond.

Issouf Traoré, an Ivorian labourer, told The Associated Press on Monday, “It’s God.” Like many others, he was persuaded that supernatural forces were responsible for the team’s extraordinary comeback following their near-disaster and the dismissal of their coach following the group stage.

Emerse Faé, the interim coach, became the first person to win the tournament in its history without having been in charge from the beginning.

Supporter Sanogo Karamoko told the AP, “It’s a fantastic story.” He made reference to the extended interval between host nation victories in the biennial competition. The final one was Egypt in 2006.

Despite overcoming the dismissal of its coach and pulling off dramatic comeback victories against Mali and the reigning champion Senegal in the elimination round, Ivory Coast’s journey to the championship game was not without its challenges.

With the game-winning goal against Congo in the semifinals and the game-winning goal against Nigeria in the championship, Sébastien Haller propelled the team into the championship game.

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