* An epic battle between the three times champions Super Eagles of Nigeria facing off two times winners the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire
* The final will be a repeat of the second Group A game of the Côte d’lvoire 2023, which went in favor of Nigeria
The 34th edition of Africa’s biggest football showpiece draws to a close with a battle of African football giants that are looking at adding to their collection of continental titles — in what is expected to be an epic battle between the three times champions Super Eagles of Nigeria facing off two times winners the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire.
The final will be a repeat of the second Group A game of the Côte d’lvoire 2023, which went in favor of Nigeria thanks to a William Troost-Ekong’s penalty.
CAFOnline looks at some of the key stars that will be instrumental for the two teams ahead of the final tonight.
The final wall of defense for the Super Eagles, Stanley Nwabali has been a revelation for the Super Eagles in Côte d’Ivoire, producing heroic saves that have seen him only concede one goal from open play enroute to the final.
The South African side Chippa United goalkeeper was also the hero of the day in the semi-final against South Africa where he saved two penalties to usher Nigeria into their final.
The Super Eagles skipper has provided great on-field leadership from the back. His experience and command as the last line of defense have proven to be crucial in the explosive Nigerian attack.
A man who is always ready to step up and take responsibility, Troost-Ekong is certainly one for the big occasion when the chips are down.
The reigning African footballer of the year has played an excellent role for Nigeria. Despite not being able to find the back of the net as much as he would have liked, Victor Osimhen has been troublesome to defenders, also creating goalscoring chances, set pieces and penalties for his side.
The final presents the perfect platform for the hitman to find close off the tournament in style and will be hoping to get a goal or two against the hosts.
Ademola Lookman will certainly be looking at closing off an impressive tournament with one last star performance.
The dangerman, has terrorized defenders with his speed, skill and impassive ability to find goals. Currently on three goals and hungry for more, Lookman is certainly a key figure for the Nigerians as they attempt a fourth continental title.
He started playing from the knockout stage for Cotê d’Ivoire. Haller has been key for the hosts anytime he has been introduced.
He showed up perfectly in their semi-final game against D.R Congo by scoring the game’s only goal which qualified his team to the final.
The Al-Nassr FC star plays with so much passion for Cotê d’Ivoire, he has been the driving force in the middle throughout this tournament.
With his name written in the history books already as the first player to score in the AFCON Côte d’lvoire 2023, Seko Fofana will be looking forward to making more history and hopefully clinch the trophy for Cotê d’Ivoire.
The hosts secret to having a great game on Sunday includes Fofana having a great time on the pitch.
The 31-year old defender comes with lot of experience and has shown it on the pitch anytime he is selected.
Both on and off the pitch, Aurier has added a lot to Emerse Faé’s side throughout this competition.
He played in Cotê d’Ivoire’s last AFCON final and knows what it takes to play in stages like this and even conquer it.
Adingra has been Cotê d’Ivoire’s main man from the bench causing problems for opponents in the tournament.
He came off the bench in their quarter-finals game to score against Mali and help them win the game.
The Brighton Hove Albion player gives Emerse Faé options on the bench and he will rely heavily on him in the finals.
Kessié has shown his quality for Cotê d’Ivoire throughout the tournament with great displays.
His late equalizer in the round of 16 and final penalty propelled the host to the quarter-finals after they struggled in the group stage.
With Nigeria’s all round quality in the midfield, Kessié will be key for Cotê d’Ivoire in quest for a third title.—Reporting by CAFonline