Sebastien Haller scored the match-winning goal for Ivory Coast as they booked their place in the Africa Cup of Nations final with a 1-0 win over DR Congo on Wednesday.
Sebastien Haller marked his return to the Ivory Coast starting XI with a breathtaking volley in the 65th minute of their Africa Cup of Nations semifinal against DR Congo. The Borussia Dortmund striker's goal proved to be the decisive one, as Ivory Coast secured their place in the final where a clash against Nigeria awaits them.
It was a cagey affair right from the start, with not much in terms of chances for either team. Haller had the opportunity to give Ivory Coast the lead in the 40th minute, but failed to find the target with a free header inside the box. But the 29 year old wasn't to be denied in the 65th minute, as he expertly volleyed a cross into the back of the net. The looping finish left DR Congo goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi with no chance, and helped hosts Ivory Coast secure their place in the AFCON final.
It has been a stunning turnaround for Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations. The tournament hosts were all but eliminated after winning just one of their three group stage games, but have since shown great resilience to eliminate Senegal, Mali, and DR Congo.
Another tough test awaits Sebastien Haller and Ivory Coast in the final as they take on Victor Osimhen and Nigeria. The two sides also met during the group stage, when Nigeria claimed a 1-0 win. The AFCON final will take place on February 11 at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.