On the edge of the precipice, humiliated in front of its people by Equatorial Guinea (4-0), Côte d'Ivoire did not hope, less than twenty days later, to reach ecstasy.
However, on Sunday evening in Abidjan, the Elephants, after yet another dramatic twist, overthrew Nigeria and won their CAN (2-1).
The Ivorians thanked Morocco after this success.
Two days after the Ivorian defeat against Equatorial Guinea, the Atlas Lions beat Zambia (1-0) on the last day of the group stages.
This allowed Ivory Coast to qualify for the round of 16 as the fourth best third.
The destiny of the Elephants would therefore never have been accomplished without this help from the Moroccans.
🇨🇮❤️🇲🇦 Huge tribute from the Ivorian people to Morocco just before the trophy presentation.
The stadium gives a standing ovation to the Atlas Lions who qualified Ivory Coast in this #CAN2023 pic.twitter.com/Uq3B3xrjts
— Hanif Ben Berkane (@HanifBerkane) February 11, 2024
After the victory of the Ivorians against Nigeria in the final, thanks to a superb goal from Sébastien Haller, the Alassane-Ouattara stadium gave the Moroccan flag a standing ovation.
This was displayed on the giant screens.
Several Elephants supporters even wore the Atlas Lions jersey in the stands.
Max-Alain Gradel himself, the Ivorians' winger, walked around the stadium with a Moroccan flag.
The Ivorian Max Gradel after the coronation of the Ivory Coast goes around the Alassane Ouattara Stadium with the Moroccan Flag!
Let's remember that Morocco helped Côte d'Ivoire to qualify for the final phase 🙏🦁🐘 pic.twitter.com/9iAhYOG6Jm
— TFT MOROCCO (@TFT_Morocco) February 11, 2024
In an emotional final, Ivory Coast surpassed Nigeria.
The Super Eagles had nevertheless opened the scoring in the first half, thanks to William Troost-Ekong (0-1, 38th).
On the hour mark, Franck Kessié, one of the great architects of the Ivorian coronation, equalized (1-1, 62nd).
Then the scorer, Sébastien Haller, brought joy to the stadium at the end of the match, with a spectacular recovery (2-1, 81st).
Read alsoCAN 2024: “It’s thanks to Morocco that we are champions”, the Ivorians celebrate their title in Paris
The path to the Grail was therefore traced with the help of the Lions of the Atlas, something the Ivorians are far from hiding.
“It’s thanks to Morocco that we are champions,” proclaimed supporters in the streets of Paris, after the title.
A lovely page in the history of the Elephants, winners of their third African Cup of Nations.