Prime News Ghana

AFCON 2023: Ivory Coast sets up Nigeria final after beating DR Congo

By Vincent Ashitey
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Sebastien Haller struck the winner as Ivory Coast kept their dream of lifting their first AFCON title on home soil alive courtesy of a 1-0 victory over DR Congo in a keenly-contested semi-final in Abidjan.

The hosts, who were a whisker away from being eliminated in the group stage, are now one step from being crowned Kings of the continent for a third time after producing one of their most assured displays of the tournament.

DR Congo were appearing in their first semi-final since 2015 and thought they had made the perfect start when Cedric Bakambu nodded in from close range, but the goal was chalked off for a foul on goalkeeper Yahia Fofana.

Ivory Coast grew as the half wore on and were unlucky not to go in ahead at the interval following a flurry of late chances. First, Haller flashed a free header wide before Franck Kessie struck the post with a low shot from the right edge of the area.

The second period was a tight affair but the hosts broke the deadlock on 65 minutes when Borussia Dortmund forward Haller saw his volley crash into the turf before looping over Lionel Mpasi into the net.
DR Congo pushed for a late equaliser but could not manufacture an opening as their bid for a first title since 1974 came to an end.

Ivory Coast will now meet Nigeria in Sunday’s final in Abidjan.