AFCON 2024: How Ivory Coast have fared in previous finals

The host nation Ivory Coast will be involved in their fifth Africa Cup of Nations final when they take on Nigeria on Sunday, 11 February.

The Elephants have won twice and lost twice since playing in their first final match back in 1992 in Senegal, in which they won.

They also recorded AFCON success in 2015 but lost twice, in 2006 and 2012.

Sunday’s encounter will be Nigeria’s eighth final appearance in the competition, with only seven-time champion Egypt and four-time champion Ghana with more final-day games.

Ivory Coast
Photo by Icon Sport

Ivory Coast – AFCON path fraught with danger

Egypt have been in the final a total of 10 times, losing out only thrice. Ghana have been in the final nine times, winning only four times.

Ivory Coast's path to the final has not been smooth; they got off to a 2-0 win over Guinea Bissau, were humbled by final opponents Nigeria in front of their crowd with a 1-0 defeat, which was followed up with 4-0 thrashing by Equatorial Guinea, to face a looming exit from a competition hosted on home soil. 

Luck smiled on the entire nation and they managed to scale through as the last of the best four third-placed teams, sneaking into the Round of 16 after Morocco's Hakim Ziyech’s goal eliminated Zambia in one of the other group games. 

In the Round of 16, Ivory Coast scored a late equaliser against the defending champions Senegal and won on penalties.

Another late goal ensured that they sent the game against Mali to extra time before piercing the hearts of the Malians with a final kick in the 120th minute of extra time to advance to the last four, where a Sebastien Haller's strike was enough for the hosts to qualify for the final in dramatic fashion.

The taste of victory for Ivory Coast

In their maiden final in 1992, Ivory Coast came up against Ghana, who made a seventh appearance in the AFCON decider and had already won four titles.

The Ivorians qualified for that stage, defeating Zambia in the quarter-finals and Cameroon in the semi-finals.

Following a tense, goalless game after regulation time, Ivory Coast overcame Ghana in a dramatic penalty shootout that was notable as the first international final in which every player took a spot-kick.

With their star man Abedi Pele suspended after receiving a red card in the semi-final against Nigeria, Ghana struggled and could not find a way past the Ivorians. In the ensuing penalty shoot-out, Côte d’Ivoire triumphed 11-10, the trophy secured after defender Anthony Baffoe saw his kick saved by Alain Gouamene.

In 2006, which was hosted by Egypt, their AFCON 2024 final opponents, Nigeria, were looking to stop the team, but they conquered in that tie before going on to lose to Egypt on penalties in the final.

Ivory Coast's AFCON heartbreak and success

Once again, they were back in the final in 2012 when Gabon hosted and everyone had felt that it should be easy work against Zambia.

The drama that made up the AFCON meant that there would be more heartbreaks with the game ending 0-0, and penalties were used to determine the winners, with the small Southern African nation led by Coach Herve Renard carting home the trophy.

Three years later, in 2015, the 2012-winning Coach was back in the final – this time around guiding the Ivorians through an event staged in Equatorial Guinea.

Though Didier Drogba had retired from international football, Kolo Toure and his brother Yaya Toure were successful from the spot as Les Elephants beat Ghana on penalties, following another goalless draw.

Ivory Coast AFCON
Photo by Icon Sport

Goalkeeper Boubacar Barry scored the decisive kick, as Ivory Coast overcame their Ghanaian counterparts for the second time in an AFCON finale and Renard became the first coach to win with two different nations.

The end of a 22-year wait was mostly met with relief in Abidjan and beyond, but after a decade of near misses, the Ivorians could finally celebrate.

Nigeria's wins in the AFCON finals have all come within regulation time but Ivory Coast's have needed two dramatic shootout wins.

Avatar photo
Rotimi Akindele

Rotimi Akindele is a Sports Journalist with almost two decades' experience. He is a TV and radio host, commentator and writer who has covered major sporting events across the globe. Akindele's sports content has been listened to and read by a global audience. He is a well-known figure within Nigeria and the African football scene.