“The CAN is with us and it will not move!” Ivory Coast supporters began a night of jubilation, Sunday evening, February 11, after the Elephants' victory against Nigeria (2-1) in the final of the African Cup of Nations.

In the popular district of Adjamé, in the Ivorian economic capital, the incandescent atmosphere never subsided throughout the match. And at the final whistle, the whistles and vuvuzelas went up another notch.

Ivory Coast, miraculous in the first round, has just won “its” CAN at home.

At half-time, however, the Elephants were led 1-0 by an efficient Nigeria who scored on a goal from their captain Troost-Ekong.

Read also: Ivory Coast wins its CAN by overthrowing Nigeria in the final

But Paul-Eric Boibré is convinced: “Côte d'Ivoire will score in the 60th and 80th minutes.”

“Discouragement is not Ivorian”

And despite the gap between the RFI radio broadcast and the images which spoils the suspense, the scenario is verified, almost to the minute: Kessié then Haller give the Elephants victory.

“The CAN is with us, it will not move,” rejoices Issa Soré, at the final whistle, in the middle of the numerous fireworks set off in the neighborhood. “Even when led, we came back each time, I had faith. Discouragement is not Ivorian,” he insists for AFP.

“Since the eighth against Senegal I knew we were going to get there,” adds Ibrahim Coulibaly.


To end this evening rich in emotions, the overflowing joy of the supporters as they left the Ébimpé stadium 🎉

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Beaufort, Ivoire, Bock: the racks of local beer fell throughout the evening.

And at the slightest downtime, the “hammer blow”, a real competition hit by the artist Tam Sir, transforms the maquis into an improvised dance floor.

"Even when we lost 4-0 against Equatorial Guinea, I had this feeling that we were going to go all the way. So this (Sunday) evening, it's done. I'm happy and proud of the game we played shown", confides Fred Miezan after the match.

“We’re worthless but we’re champions”

In Cocody, the neighboring town, supporters chant “we are Ivorians”, in an indescribable atmosphere. Some cry, others greet Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.

“We are worthless but we are champions”, is also echoed by some of the fans. The Ivorians' failed first round launched this humble chant among the supporters, until victory.

Read alsoKings of Africa, the Ivorians thank Morocco and promise the party until the next CAN

Throughout the day, the atmosphere in the city grew crescendo. Orange jerseys swarmed in the various neighborhoods and we could hear the sounds of vuvuzelas ringing out sporadically.

“1-0 Ivory Coast” was the most common prediction before the match, and Ivorian fans wanted to “avoid penalties” at all costs.

Four times finalist, Côte d'Ivoire has always gone 0-0 and finished on penalties, twice victorious (1992, 2015), twice defeated (2006, 2012). This time there is no need to reach this torture: the Ivorians are three-time African champions. And Abidjan hasn't finished dancing.

With AFP

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