Sebastien Haller shot the Ivory Coast into the dream final of the Africa Cup of Nations against Nigeria. The Borussia Dortmund striker is experiencing a personal rollercoaster ride at the tournament.
While Sébastian Haller was still overjoyed and struggling for words, the party was already in full swing on the streets of Abidjan. With music, dancing and loud cheers, Ivory Coast football fans celebrated their team, which had actually long been declared dead at the Africa Cup of Nations. But now the “elephants” face a dream final against Nigeria in their own living room.
“We are proud that we made all of these people happy,” said Haller, who was successful in the decisive move to reach the final. The Borussia Dortmund striker scored with a volley in the semi-final (65th) to make it 1-0 (0-0) over the Democratic Republic of Congo. Suddenly everything is possible.
The fact that the host team has a chance of pulling off a really big coup against the “Super Eagles” from Nigeria on Sunday (9 p.m.) is nothing short of a miracle.
After two defeats in the preliminary round, coach Jean-Louis Gasset had to leave; only the support of the competition lifted the Ivorians into the knockout round as one of four third-place teams in the group. The mood was at rock bottom, followed by victories against defending champions Senegal, Mali and now the DR Congo.