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Nigeria vs Ivory Coast as it happened! How to watch AFCON final, live minute-by-minute updates, teams

The Elephants win a third AFCON crown

Sebastien Haller scores the winner for Ivory Coast
(Image: © Getty Images / Issouf SANOGO)

Nigeria 1-2 Ivory Coast – as it happened from AFCON 2023 final
• Ivory Coast win their third AFCON crown in their home tournament
• Haller's deft finishes puts Ivory Coast in front with 10 minutes to go
• Skipper Troost-Ekong had given Nigeria the lead with a 36th-minute header
• Elephants midfielder Kessie heads the equaliser just after the hour mark
• Ivory Coast have dominated possession

Nigeria: Stanley Nwabili, Ola Aina, Zaidu Sanusi (Joe Aribo), Calvin Bassey, William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi, Frank Onyeka (Terem Moffi), Victor Osimhen , Samuel Chukwueze (Moses Simon), Ademola Lookman (Kelechi Iheanacho)
Substitutes: Francis Uzoho, Olorunleke Ojo, Chidozie Awaziem, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Bruno Onyemaechi, Kenneth Omeruo, Alhassan Yussuf, Raphael Onyedika, Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa, Sadiq Umar 

Ivory Coast: Yahia Fofana, Ghislain Konan, Jean-Michael Seri, Seko Fofana (Ibrahim Sangare), Odilon Kossonou, Franck Kessie, Max Gradel (Oumar Diakite),  Evans Ndicka, Sebastien Haller (Jean-Philippe Krasso), Simon Adingra, Serge Aurier (Wilfried Singo)
Substitutes: Charles Folly, Badra Ali, Willy Boly, Ismael Diallo, Ousmane Diomande, Ahmed Touba, Jean-Thierry Amani Lazare, Idrissa Doumbia, Jeremie Boga, Jonathan Bamba, Karim Konate, Christian Kouame, Nicolas Pepe

The Super Eagles and the Elephants met in what promises to be a monumental final at the Africa Cup of Nations as a truly stellar tournament comes to a fascinating close. It will be available to watch for free on BBC Three in the UK and live stream on BBC iPlayer from 7.30pm GMT. UK citizens abroad can use a VPN to watch the AFCON final on iPlayer from anywhere in the world


Hello and welcome to the live blog for the AFCON 2023 final between Nigeria and Ivory Coast. First up, the teams...

And here they are...

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If you’re looking for a live stream to catch all the AFCON 2023 final action between Nigeria and Ivory Coast, then check out our guide that tells you how to watch the match from anywhere in the world.

Injury news: Both squads are at full strength tonight. Ivory Coast captain Serge Aurier returns after missing the semi-final defeat of DR Congo through suspension.

Alex Iwobi has looked tired for Nigeria as this tournament has progressed but the Fulham forward makes the starting lineup. Samuel Chukwueze, who impressed off the bench in the semi-final, is rewarded with a final start for the Super Eagles.

Want to see some nerves of steel? Here’s the moment Kelechi Iheanacho scored the decisive semi-final shootout penalty against South Africa that put Nigeria into the final…

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Having recovered from injury, Sebastien Haller’s first goal of the tournament was this volley that proved enough to beat DR Congo 1-0 in the semi-final. They all count!

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They’ve been doing it all tournament and the party is getting started for the Nigerian squad, who are in the building and letting everyone know about it…

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Ivorian singer Alpha Blondy has been getting the crowd at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan in the mood with a brilliant show ahead of this evening's final. 

Absolutely cannot wait.

Ivorian singer Alpha Blondy performs during the closing ceremony ahead of AFCON 2023

Ivorian singer Alpha Blondy performs during the closing ceremony ahead of AFCON 2023 (Image credit: Getty Images)

The home heroes Ivory Coast are also in the ground, albeit with less of the musical accompaniment their final opponents managed.

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The atmosphere is building in the stands ahead of kick-off in about half hour. 

It really is a sea of orange, green and white out there!

Ivory Coast fans get the party started at the AFCON 2023 final

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This will be Nigeria’s eighth AFCON final. Only Egypt and Ghana have featured in more (both nine). Ivory Coast, meanwhile, are appearing their fifth showpiece.

Drawn together in Group A, Nigeria and Ivory Coast are facing off for the second time this tournament. 

In both sides’ second game of the tournament, a penalty from Nigeria skipper William Troost-Ekong was the difference as the Super Eagles won 1-0. Will it be revenge or repeat tonight?

That victory for the Super Eagles ended a run of four defeats in their past six outings against the Elephants. The head-to-head record currently stands at nine Nigeria wins, 10 draws and nine Ivory Coast wins. It doesn’t get much more even. 

Nigeria’s defence is what’s got them this far. Goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili, who saved two of the four spot-kicks he faced in the semi-final shootout, went eight hours without conceding before South Africa equaliser in the 90th minute. That thrilling denouement came moments after it seemed that Victor Osimhen had given the Super Eagles a 2-0 lead, his goal ruled out for VAR. Check out how the chaos happened below…

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Golden boot watch: Barring a goalscoring final performance bordering on the Kylian Mbappe or Geoff Hurst (depending on your age) Nigeria’s Ademola Lookman will be the only player on show tonight with a realistic chance of catching Equatorial Guinea forward Emilio Nsue in the race for the Golden Boot. The Atalanta winger is currently on three goals, having struck twice in the last 16 against Cameroon and firing the winner in the Super Eagles’ 1-0 quarter-final defeat of Angola. Here’s his winner against Angola to whet your appetite...

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Speaking of which, how do you rate your AFCON Golden Boot winners knowledge? Try our super soaraway quiz to find out. Be warned, it’s tough…

Victor Osimhen will rise to second in the ranking of all-time scorers for Nigeria if he can find his shooting boots in the AFCON final and pick up just one more goal. He needs another 16 to equal Rashidi Yekini’s record. Here’s the goal that took him to 21 Super Eagles goals, way back in the opening game of the tournament 

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Ivory Coast are the first host nation to reach an AFCON final since Egypt in 2006, who beat the Elephants on penalties 18 years ago after a goalless draw. Historical precedent is certainly on the Ivorians’ side – five of the past six host nations to reach the final have won the tournament. 

The exception? Tonight’s opponents Nigeria in 2000, who lost a penalty shootout to Cameroon following a 2-2 draw.

Ivory Coast is believed to have spent as much as £1bn on new stadia, infrastructure and more to host this tournament and it all seemed wasted following a record 4-0 group stage defeat to Equatorial Guinea seemed to consign them to an early exit. 

Only Mozambique improbably scoring twice in injury time to draw 2-2 with Ghana gifted the Elephants the final last 16 spot as one of the best third-placed teams.
Is this the moment destiny decided this was going to be Ivory Coast’s tournament after all…?

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All six of Ivory Coast’s goals at AFCON 2023 have been scored by different players (Seko Fofana, Jean-Philippe Krasso, Franck Kessie, Simon Adingra, Oumar Diakite and Sebastien Haller). 


The Elephants’ quarter-final comeback against Mali was one of the stories of AFCON 2023. Goals from Simon Adingra and Oumar Diakite in the last minute of regulation and extra time respectively delivered a stunning 2-1 victory. 

Check out the unmissable highlights below…

Though Ivory Coast have twice gone to extra time this tournament – beating defending champions Senegal and Mali in that thrilling quarter-final – their players will be the fresher of this evening’s sides. 

Nine of Nigeria’s squad have played more than 400 minutes, but only Evan Ndicka, Ghislain Konan, Seko Fofana and Franck Kessie have amassed more than that figure. Squad management and fresh legs go a long way in this heat… 

With under 10 minutes until kick-off, the locals are bringing everything they've got.

You want body paint, balloons and lots of noise? So does this guy...