ABIJAN, IVORY COAST: Africa and the whole world await to see two teams that will parade to the finishing line of 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals today.
After meandering all the way from the group stage to the semis, the big moment is here as four teams Ivory Coast (hosts), DR Congo, South Africa and Nigeria battles for the remaining two yawning final slots.
The first encounter sees three-time AFCON winners Nigeria taking on South Africa who clinched the lucrative silverware once in 1996.
The Bafana Bafana have the record of claiming the Africa glory in the year they made first appearance in the AFCON finals hence a chance for them to squeeze into the finals and perhaps bring the trophy to Nelson Mandela’s soil.
On the other hand, Nigeria ‘Super Eagles’ believe that it has been written in the stars for them to bag the fourth AFCON title in their history after sparkling in 1980, 1994 and 2013 respectively.
However, in a late kick-off duel today, hosts Ivory Coast face unpredictable side DR Congo in a seemingly tense match set to attract attention of many people within and outside the continent.
Nicknamed ‘Elephants’, Ivory Coast are eager to keep the title inside their territory as they search to claim it for the third time after 1992 and 2025 glories.
Similarly, DR Congo have been crowned AFCON champions twice in 1968 and 1978 as such, they are curious to make the most of this opportunity knowing in advance that they have only one hurdle to clear before sniffing the title.
Meanwhile, overall, 2023 AFCON winners will walk away with 7 million USD a 40 percent increase of the last edition.