Ivory Coast silence Nigeria to clinch All African Games bronze

Ivorian Ange Koko N'Guessan
Ange Koko N'Guessan

Ivory Coast beat Nigeria 2–1 on Wednesday to claim bronze in their debut appearance at the All African Games.

It was a case of déjà vu for Nigeria when Ivory Coast repeated their group stage feat, coming from behind to defeat the African champions.

After losing to bitter rivals Cameroon in the semis, Nigeria needed to finish on a high.

But the Ivorians, who had suffered a semi-final defeat to Ghana, would have none of it.

After a scoreless first half, budding forward Chinwendu Ihezuo gave Nigeria the lead in the 53rd minute.

Super Falcons seemed well on their way to the bronze medal when Ivory Coast scored twice in quick succession.

The 2015 World Cup star Ange N’Guessan scored the equaliser in the 70th minute before Fatou Coulibaly scored the match winner in the 77th.

Historic defeat

This is the first time since women’s football was introduced into the All African Games in 2003 that Nigeria have missed a podium finish.

The Super Falcons have played in three editions of the tournament, winning the first two (2003 and 2007) before failing to qualify in 2011 only to return in 2015 to finish fourth.

This marks the end of a forgettable year for the Super Falcons who were knocked out in the group stage in the 2015 World Cup.

They then failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and now go home from the All African Games empty handed.

Bronze sealed, now all eyes focus on the final tomorrow, Friday 18 September, where holders Cameroon will face off with Ghana in a repeat of the 2011 final.

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