Sebastian Haller scored a second half winner to lead Ivory Coast, hosts of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), to a 1-0 win over the DR Congo in their semi-final encounter at the Olympique Alassane Ouattara stadium in Abidjan on Wednesday night.
The hosts, who have continued on a surprise winning run despite entering he knockout rounds as one of four best losers, added the DR Congo to their list of victims to reach the final on home soil.
The DR Congo thought they had taken the lead through Cedric Bakambu under five minutes but the striker was adjudged to have taken the ball off the goalkeeper’s hands by the referee.
The tense encounter did not light up until Haller missed a free header before the interval, but the cancer survivor made amends in the 65th minute with a volley that bounced in front of the goalkeeper before nestling in the net.
They almost doubled the lead but Haller lobbed wide as the Elephants sauntered into the final in comfortable fashion.
It will be Ivory Coast’s fifth AFCON final when they take to the pitch over the weekend, and their first since 2015 when they won the tournament. They have won the AFCON title twice.
They will face Nigeria in the final showpiece on Sunday, February 11, at the same stadium.
The hosts previously lost 2-0 to the Super Eagles of Nigeria in their Group B encounter
The hosts previously lost 2-0 to the Super Eagles of Nigeria in their Group B encounter earlier in the tournament.
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