Hosts Cote d’Ivoire beat three-time African champions Nigeria 2-1 on Sunday night to be crowned winners of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, reports Prime Business Africa.
Since Egypt won the tournament as hosts in 2006, there has been no hosts that emerged champions before Sunday’s final.
The Eagles went ahead in the 38th minute through captain William Troost Ekong who headed home from a corner kick by Samuel Chukwueze.
The game became feisty as Evans Ndicka and Victor Osimhen had a bust up over the AS Roma central defender’s flailing arm that caught Osimhen, prompting the referee to intervene.
The Elephants dominated the first half statistics as evidenced by the nine shots on target to Nigeria’s one albeit the Nigerians harried and restricted them to long range shots.
Frank Kessie grabbed the equalising goal for the Elephants early in the second half with a header similar to Ekong’s from a corner kick.
The hosts then doubled their lead as Sebastián Haller stuck out his foot to connect to a cross from a Simon Adingra cross who ghosted past Ola Aina just after the hour mark.
The Nigerians’ late attempt to restore parity was repelled by the Ivorians as seven added minutes at the end of regulation time not enough to force the game into extra time.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.