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AFCON final: Facts and figures as Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire trade tackles for continental glory

Nigeria will play Cote d’Ivoire in the final match of the 2023 TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) today, Sunday, February 11, 2024 in Abidjan.

Below are some of the facts and figures of the match:

*This is the second time Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire will face off in the current 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament, following the 1-0 victory for the Super Eagles in the group stages. Côte d’Ivoire haven’t beaten the Super Eagles at AFCON since the 2008 group stages, a 1-0 win.

*Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire are meeting for the eighth time at the Africa Cup of Nations (three wins for Nigeria, two for Côte d’Ivoire, D2), including in all three AFCON editions where the Super Eagles have won the competition (group stage draw in 1980, a 4-2 Nigeria win on penalties after a 2-2 semi-final draw in 1994, and a 2-1 Nigeria win in the quarter-finals in 2013).

*Following their 1-0 win in the group stages over Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria will be looking to beat the same nation twice in a CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament for the first time since 2006 when they beat Senegal in the group stage and third-place playoff.

*Côte d’Ivoire is the first host nation to reach the CAF Africa Cup of Nations final since Egypt in 2006, who won the trophy that year on penalties against Côte d’Ivoire after a 0-0 draw. Five of the last six host nations to reach the final have won the tournament, the exception being Nigeria in 2000 (drew 2-2 with Cameroon, lost 4-3 on penalties).

*Nigeria is playing in their eighth Africa Cup of Nations final; only Egypt and Ghana (both 9) have played in more such games in the competition (excluding final groups). The Super Eagles have been victorious in two of their last three (1994 and 2013, lost on penalties in 2000) having lost their three beforehand (1984, 1988, and 1990).

*All four of Côte d’Ivoire’s previous CAF Africa Cup of Nations finals have ended goalless and gone to penalties – they won two of those shootouts (1992 and 2015, both against Ghana) and lost two (2006 against Egypt and 2012 against Zambia).

*Côte d’Ivoire has won 17 of their last 18 matches at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations when scoring the first goal (D1) – their last such defeat was in the 2010 quarter-final against Algeria, losing 3-2. Nigeria, meanwhile, is unbeaten in 22 AFCON games when scoring first (W19 D3) since a 3-1 loss to Egypt in 2010.

*The two most common scorelines in CAF Africa Cup of Nations finals are 1-0 (eight times) and 0-0 (seven times) – since 2002, nine of the 11 finals have ended in one of those scorelines, with the other two 2-1 wins for Tunisia in 2004 and Cameroon in 2017.

*Since the last time they conceded three goals in a CAF Africa Cup of Nations match (1-3 vs Egypt in 2010), Nigeria has only conceded 16 goals in 28 games at AFCON (0.57 per game). Only eight of those 16 goals have come in open play, including just one at this year’s tournament.

*William Troost-Ekong has scored from four of his five shots on target at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations overall for Nigeria, converting two penalties at this year’s tournament. He’s one of only four Nigerians to score two penalties at a single AFCON, along with Samuel Ojebode (1976), Jay-Jay Okocha (2004), and Victor Moses (2013), although, excluding shootouts, the last penalty scored in an AFCON final was in 1988 (Emmanuel Kundé for Cameroon vs Nigeria).

*All six of Côte d’Ivoire’s goals at AFCON 2023 have been scored by different players (Fofana, Krasso, Kessié, Adingra, Diakité, and Haller), they last had more goal scorers in a single edition in 2008 (8).

*Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen has had 24 shots at the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, although he’s only managed one goal so far (4% conversion rate). Since 2010, the only players to attempt more shots at a single AFCON tournament are Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan (25 shots, 1 goal in 2013) and Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar (31 shots, 8 goals in 2021).

*Côte d’Ivoire’s Evan Ndicka has completed 367 passes at this year’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations – since 2010, that is a record by a player at a single tournament. In an AFCON final in that time, the most passes completed by a player is 81 by Senegal’s Kalidou Koulibaly in 2021 vs Egypt.

*Ola Aina has created seven chances for Nigerian teammate Victor Osimhen at this year’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations – it’s the most by one teammate to another at an AFCON tournament since 2013, when Charles Kaboré created nine chances for Aristide Bancé for Burkina Faso.

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