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    BVB star leads “Elefanten” into the Africa Cup final with a dream goal


    The Miracle of Abidjan
    BVB star leads “Elefanten” into the Africa Cup final with a dream goal

    Ivory Coast was already on the verge of elimination in the preliminary round of the Africa Cup of Nations. Now the host moves into the final. A professional from Borussia Dortmund will be celebrated in the semi-finals. After weeks of chaos, suddenly only Nigeria stands between the elephants and great triumph.

    Thanks to BVB professional Sébastien Haller, the Ivory Coast national soccer team reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in their own country after a disastrous start to the tournament. The host meets on Sunday (21 clock) in Abidjan, Nigeria and is fighting for his third title in the history of the continental championship.

    Haller, who lost his regular place at Borussia Dortmund this season, shot his team to a deserved 1-0 (0-0) win over the Democratic Republic of Congo in the semifinals with a volley (65'). The fact that the team is now actually playing for the title against the “Super Eagles” is nothing short of a miracle. After two defeats in the preliminary round, coach Jean-Louis Gasset had to leave; only the support of the competition lifted the “Elefants” into the knockout round as one of four third-place teams in the group.

    Nigeria takes it on penalties

    In the semi-final, Nigeria had to wait until the penalty shootout after a strange VAR decision shortly before the end of regular time, but won 4-2. After 120 minutes the score was 1:1 (1:1, 0:0).

    Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho scored the winning penalty for the Nigerians at Bouake's Stade de la Paix. Captain William Troost-Ekong (67th) scored 1-0 with a penalty in a game with few chances in temperatures of up to 35 degrees after a foul on star striker Victor Osimhen. Teboho Mokoena (90th) also equalized for South Africa with a penalty kick.

    Shortly before Mokoena's goal, Osimhen (85th) had made it 2-0. But after the video assistant intervened, the Egyptian referee Amin Mohamed Omaraus disallowed the goal and instead punished a foul by Nigeria's Semi Ajayi in his own penalty area, which had preceded the counterattack goal.

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