Super Eagles AFCON favourites? Nigeria odds predicted vs Ivory Coast

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will once again face host nation Ivory Coast in the ongoing 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024), this time in the final of the tournament.

Paired in Group A, the two nations had faced each other in a matchday 2 fixture, with the Super Eagles emerging victorious thanks to a William Troost-Ekong goal from the spot.

Before Sunday's final, the Opta supercomputer predicted that Nigeria would defeat Ivory Coast in the AFCON final, giving Nigeria a 56.2% chance of winning based on 10,000 pre-match simulations.

Super Eagles road to the final

The Super Eagles kicked off their AFCON 2024 campaign with a 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea. They secured their first victory of the tournament in their second match against host nation Ivory Coast, whom they will face again in the final.

Following this, the Super Eagles clinched a narrow win in their last group game against Guinea-Bissau, securing second place behind Equatorial Guinea to advance from the group stage.

In the Round of 16, Jose Peseiro‘s men triumphed over their neighbours Cameroon, followed by a hard-fought victory against Angola in the quarterfinals.

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Subsequently, the Super Eagles faced a resilient South Africa side in the semifinals, overcoming them to secure their place in the AFCON final.

Ivory Coast's road to the final

The Elephants of Ivory Coast entered the competition as one of the pre-tournament favourites. They began their campaign with a convincing 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau.

However, the host nation suffered a setback in their second match, losing to Nigeria, and were defeated by Equatorial Guinea in the final group game.

Despite two losses in the group stages, Ivory Coast managed to advance to the knockout stage as the fourth-best third-placed team in their respective group, edging out Ghana and Zambia on better points.

In the Round of 16, Ivory Coast faced the defending champions, Senegal, who had won all their previous games. Against the odds, Ivory Coast eliminated Senegal.

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In the quarterfinals, they encountered a formidable Malian side, considered favourites by many. Despite being a man down for most of the match, Ivory Coast rallied from behind to defeat Mali 2-1 and secure a spot in the semifinals.

They continued their impressive run by overcoming DR Congo in the semifinals to earn a place in the final.

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast AFCON history

The two teams have faced each other a total of seven times in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, dating back to the 1980 edition. In that tournament, Nigeria hosted the competition for the first time and emerged victorious, although they were unable to defeat Ivory Coast.

Despite the Super Eagles' impressive run to the title, Ivory Coast failed to win a single game and exited the tournament early.

A decade later, the teams met again in Algiers, with Nigeria securing a victory through an early goal from Rashidi Yekini. This defeat contributed to another early exit for Ivory Coast, two years before they claimed their first championship.

In the semifinals of the Tunisia 1994 tournament, Nigeria emerged victorious on penalties after a 2-2 draw, eventually winning their second African title. However, Ivory Coast found success against Nigeria twelve years later in Egypt, with Didier Drogba's goal securing their spot in the AFCON final.

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In the subsequent AFCON hosted by Ghana, Ivory Coast defeated Nigeria once again, this time with a solitary goal from Salomon Kalou.

However, Nigeria returned to winning ways in their next encounter, defeating Ivory Coast in the quarterfinals with goals from Emmanuel Emenike and Sunday Mba.

These encounters were pivotal moments in the teams' AFCON history, with Nigeria's Stephen Keshi guiding his team to glory in Johannesburg after defeating Ivory Coast in the quarterfinals.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu is a purpose-driven Ghanaian sports writer with a sharp eye for excellence. He has had stints with www.kickgh.com inkandkicks.com and ghanafans.com. He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.