HomeSportsAFCON: A to Z thrilling moments of 2023 AFCON

AFCON: A to Z thrilling moments of 2023 AFCON

Cote d’Ivoire emerged victorious as hosts, defeating the Super Eagles 2-1 in the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday night at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium.

This tournament marked the 34th edition of the continent’s competition.

From a flurry of goals, surprises, a Moroccan player receiving two red cards, and a remarkable comeback by Ivory Coast, who clinched victory in Sunday’s final despite two group stage defeats.

The 2024 Africa Cup of Nations showcased an array of thrilling moments.

Below are alphabetical representations of some of the drama from a 24-nation tournament regarded by many observers as the most exciting since the event debuted in 1957 in Sudan with just three teams.

A

Quarter-finalists Angola were a revelation under coach Pedro Goncalves, winning three matches in a row having failed to achieve more than one victory at a time in eight previous appearances.

B

AFCON-winning coach Djamel Belmadi was fired after Algeria flopped, with a loss to minnows Mauritania leading to a first-round exit for the Riyad Mahrez-captained side.

Q

Despite a humiliating 4-0 defeat by Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast supporters queued from 0400 for tickets to watch the last-16 clash with Senegal in Yamoussoukro.

R

Moroccan Sofyan Amrabat was red-carded twice against South Africa — firstly after two yellow cards then, following a VAR review, he was shown a straight red for a last-defender foul.

S

South Africa, whose starting line-ups included nine local-based players, exceeded expectations under Belgian coach Hugo Broos by finishing third.

T

Former champions Tunisia were among the biggest disappointments as they failed to win and scored only once, leading to coach Jalel Kadri quitting after a first-round exit.

U

There were many upsets with seven of the FIFA top 10-ranked African teams — Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso — failing to reach the quarter-finals.

V

Rui Vitoria of Egypt was among seven coaches sacked for poor results or controversial comments. Under the Portuguese, the Pharaohs failed to win any of the four group and knockout matches.

W

South Africa goalkeeper Ronwen Williams broke Cape Verde’s hearts by saving four of their five kicks in a penalty shootout after a goalless quarter-final.

X

Several Ivory Coast players, including Seko Fofana, Franck Kessie, Oumar Diakite and Sebastien Haller twice, shared the x-factor role during an amazing recovery to win the tournament.

Y

Reigning African Young Player of the Year Lamine Camara scored a superb goal as Senegal kicked off with a 3-0 win over the Gambia, but he made little subsequent impact.

Z

Back at the AFCON after three consecutive failed qualifying campaigns, Avram Grant-coached Zambia failed to sparkle and two points was not enough to take them beyond the first round.

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