Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro admitted they lost to a better side in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast on Sunday.
The Super Eagles after being well on course to a fourth AFCON gold medal were edged by the hosts 2-1, who showed character in coming back from a goal down. A packed-to-the-rafters Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan was the perfect setting for the Elephants to add a third African title in front of their loyal supporters who rallied them to the comeback victory.
A first half goal by William Troost-Ekong looked to set up the Super Eagles for a fourth title before a leveler by Franck Kessie and late strike by dangerman, Sebastian Haller secured Africa’s most coveted title for Ivory Coast.
Speaking after the game Peseiro said: “They were better than us, they managed the pressure better, they did a remarkable job. My team did not play at the same level. My team is sad but for me they did what they could.
“We conceded goals from a few defensive errors, and we dropped the tempo against the Ivorians. But I am proud of the way my players performed in this tournament.”
Defender Troost-Ekong, who scored Nigeria’s only goal of the match was awarded the AFCON Best Player of the Tournament award.