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CAF AFCON – Five key players to watch for Elephants ahead of final

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In few hours, hosts Cotê d’Ivoire will face off against one of African’s giants, Nigeria in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023.

The clash will draw the curtains down on the AFCON Côte d’lvoire 2023 in what is expected to be an epic showdown.

Both Nigeria and Cotê d’Ivoire will be hoping to add to their trophy cabinet.

For Cotê d’Ivoire, this will be their third title should they record a victory against Nigeria.

CAFOnline looks at some of the key stars that will be instrumental for Cotê d’Ivoire ahead of the final.

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Sebastian Haller

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.

Seko Fofana

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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 TotalEnergies CAF 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.

 

Serge Aurier

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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 TotalEnergies CAF AFCON final and knows what it takes to play in stages like this and even conquer it.

 

Simon Adingra

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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.

 

Franck Kessié

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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.

-CAF

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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