Côte d’Ivoire striker Sebastien Haller has expressed his determination for revenge as the Elephants prepare to face Nigeria’s Super Eagles in the AFCON 2023 final on Sunday.
The Eagles handed Côte d’Ivoire their first defeat of the tournament with a 1-0 win, thanks to a William Troost-Ekong penalty in the second half of the game.
Haller was unable to play in the defeat as he was still recovering from an injury.
The hosts were on the verge of elimination in the group stage after a surprising 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea in their final Group A game. Despite this setback, they qualified as one of the top four third placed teams and reached the final with victories over champions Senegal, Mali, and DR Congo.
Haller’s volley secured a first AFCON final appearance for Côte d’Ivoire since 2015 in the semi-final win against DR Congo, and now the Ivory Coast faces the Eagles in pursuit of a third AFCON title.
Looking forward to the important matchup, Haller stated via BBC Sport Africa, “It’s a final and you’re there to win it. We’ll analyze everything in order to gain our revenge.”
Reflecting on his team’s journey in the competition, the Borussia Dortmund striker acknowledged the significant role played by the home fans in their success so far. “It’s certain the public push us in every moment,” he said. “When the public is there and make noise and push us, that makes the difference.”
He also stated, “We knew we had the potential to succeed and go far in the competition. The quality on the field is all over. There were lots of things missing from the start of the competition, and we have been trying to find the things that were missing to perform.”