Ivory Coast head coach Emerse Fae has described reaching the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final as being “like a dream” after masterminding a remarkable turnaround.
The Elephants looked down and out after suffering a 4-0 defeat against Equatorial Guinea in the group stage. But three straight knockout wins have booked an improbable final date with Nigeria.
For Fae, appointed mid-tournament after Jean-Louis Gasset’s sacking, this swift resurrection is a fantasy. “I am very happy, very moved, it’s like a dream,” he beamed after beating DR Congo 1-0, adding:“I told the players: you are 27 players and I count on everyone.
“If we want to win this competition, we will win it with all 27…I’ve been telling the players that everyone is important, including those in the stands, and they understood the message.”
On facing the Super Eagles in the final, Fae said: “We will take stock in the next two days, we will analyze Nigeria, even though we played them in the group stage, we will see the strategy to implement for the final.”