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Nigeria equal most Africa Cup of Nations final defeats record with Cote d’Ivoire heartbreak

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By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde

Nigeria matched the joint-highest defeats in the history of an Africa Cup of Nations final when they lost the 2023 final to Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 on Sunday.

After the shock loss at the Stade Olympique Al-assane Ouattara, Ebimpe, Abidjan, the Super Eagles equaled an unenviable record.

It is the first time the West African team had reach the final in 11 years in the African premier tournament.

Nigeria has been defeated in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations final for the fifth time. In 1984, 1988, 1990, and 2000, the West African team had previously been beaten in the final match.

With the feat, the Super Eagles equaled Ghana for the joint-most runners-up in the history of the tournament.

Cameroon beat Nigeria 3-1 in the 1984 finals at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan thanks to goals from Rene N’Djeya, Theophilus Abega, and Ernest Ebongue which Mudashiru Lawal scored for the Green Eagles.

The Indomitable Lions once again beat the Super Eagles 9-8 on penalties after regulation time ended in a 1-1 draw in the final of the 1988 AFCON.

The same scenario played out in 2000 when Cameroon also came out victorious on penalties against the West African side.

Earlier in 1990, Algeria had a 1-0 win against Nigeria in the final. With the next AFCON billed to take place in Morocco, the Super Eagles can get to the final and win the tournament for the fourth time.

In 1994, the team won their second AFCON title in the North African nation of Tunisia.

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