AFCON AFCON 2023: here are the tops and flops of the competition

AFCON 2023 here are the tops and flops of the competition

The African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023) ended on Sunday with the coronation of the organizing country, Ivory Coast. The competition will be remembered as a competition of rare intensity, where emotions and performances intertwined to offer an unforgettable spectacle.

Between dazzling triumphs and bitter disappointments, a look back at an edition that shook an entire continent.

The Tops

Ivory Coast and the triumph of Emerse Fae

The 2023 edition of the AFCON crowned Ivory Coast, led by Emerse Fae, in a saga of twists and turns. Sébastien Haller, returning from a battle with testicular cancer, scored the crucial goals in the semi-final and final, giving the Elephants their third continental title. While they were on the verge of elimination on the evening of the debacle (0-4) against Equatorial Guinea, the Ivorians were saved by the victory of Morocco. A new chance that the organizing country was able to seize thanks to one man, Emerse Fae.

Interim coach, Emerse Fae, brilliantly led the team to victory, despite the challenges encountered along the way.

The good rating of the outsiders

Equatorial Guinea surprisingly outperformed the host nation, while Cape Verde shone in eliminating marquee opponents. Lower-rated teams such as Namibia, Angola, and Mauritania have also impressed by reaching late stages of the competition. These results reflect a trend towards increased competitiveness within African football.

Public enthusiasm and records

AFCON 2023 captivated the crowds, setting records in terms of audience and goals scored. With more than two billion viewers and an average of 2.29 goals per match, enthusiasm for the tournament was phenomenal. Moments of suspense until the end added to the excitement, highlighting the quality of African football on a global scale.

Ivory Coast hosted the competition in style, investing more than a billion dollars in infrastructure and creating an intoxicating atmosphere throughout the country. New stadiums, upgraded roads, and improved medical facilities have witnessed an overflowing passion for football. The presence of President Alassane Ouattara at the opening and closing also underlines the interest of the authorities in this event.

The Flops

North Africa, great disappointment

The traditional powers of North African football suffered an unexpected setback, failing to qualify for the quarter-finals. The elimination of Algeria and Tunisia against lower ranked teams was a shock for the supporters. Egypt, seven-time African champions, also fell prematurely, highlighting a relative decline in the region. Morocco, semi-finalist of the last World Cup in Qatar, was stopped in its dream of coronation.


The Black Stars suffered a disappointing exit from the group stage. The resignation of manager Chris Hughton underlines the continuing problems of the team, which has failed to live up to expectations despite its winning ambitions.

AFCON 2023 will be remembered as a competition rich in emotions, with its share of successes and disappointments. While some shone on the pitch, others faced bitter setbacks, illustrating the unpredictable and thrilling nature of African football.

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