AFCON final tips: AFCON glory on the line

Ivory Coast will be looking to complete a miracle tournament win when they take on Nigeria in Sunday’s AFCON final (2000 GMT).

Ivory Coast celebrate the opening goal of their AFCON campaign
Ivory Coast celebrate the opening goal of their AFCON campaign Picture: AAP Image

Let's be honest. The very fact that Ivory Coast are in the final is beyond a miracle.

The hosts lost two of their group games, including a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Equatorial Guinea.

Their dreadful run in the group led to the termination of manager Jean-Louis Gasset, who was replaced by current caretaker boss Emerse Fae.

Incredibly, Ivory Coast did just enough to progress to the knockout stage by placing as the fourth-best third-placed team, meaning their tournament journey continued.

Under new management, The Elephants knocked out Senegal on penalties, Mali in extra time and DR Congo by a single goal in the semi-final.

Ivory Coast now find themselves one match away from completing one of the most remarkable tournament victories in recent memory.

The only team standing in their way is Nigeria. Since drawing their opening match at the event, the Super Eagles have gone on a five-match winning run without conceding a single goal from open play.

Nigeria are unbeaten in 11 competitive fixtures and have proved to be an incredibly tough side to break down.

Bearing all that in mind, we're backing the hosts to find a way past this Super Eagles side.

Ivory Coast to win the tournament on home soil is our recommendation. Sebastian Haller to get a goal anytime is another top tip.


Key stats

- Ivory Coast are the first host nation to reach the AFCON final since Egypt in 2006

- Nigeria are playing in their eighth AFCON final

- All four of Ivory Coast's previous four AFCON finals have ended goalless and gone to penalties


Suggested bets

Ivory Coast to win
Sebastian Haller to score anytime
One goal winning margin

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