Emerse Fae: What Cote d'Ivoire boss has learnt about Nigeria ahead of AFCON final

Cote d'Ivoire's coach Emerse Fae, during a press conference at the AFCON 2023. (Photo Credit: Usher Komugisha/X)

Emerse Fae: What Cote d'Ivoire boss has learnt about Nigeria ahead of AFCON final

Izuchukwu Akawor 05:11 - 11.02.2024

Emerse Fae has prepared his Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire for the unexpected in the AFCON 2023 final against Nigeria's Super Eagles.

Cote d’Ivoire’s interim manager Emerse Fae says his side has learnt from their group stage defeat to Nigeria and will be ready for ‘tactical surprises’ in the Africa Cup of Nations final. 

Pulse Sports Nigeria reports that the host nation and the Super Eagles are set to meet again in the grand finale of the AFCON 2023 and Fae is ready for the unexpected. 

Fae on Nigeria and Super Eagles

Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire had met earlier in the tournament, with the Super Eagles sealing a historic 1-0 win against the Elephants thanks to a William Troost-Ekong penalty.

Nigeria’s Jose Peseiro appeared to have sprung a tactical surprise, switching his formation to a 5-4-1.

Ivory Coast manager Emerse Fae is ready for Nigeria's surprises.

Ahead of their second meeting in the competition, Fae has admitted that they were caught off guard by the Portuguese’s tactical tweak in the clash.

But speaking on Saturday ahead of the continental final, the Ivorian insisted his team would be prepared for Nigeria to alter their system again.

At the Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday, Nigeria defeated Ivory Coast 1-0 thanks to a penalty kick in the second half by William Troost-Ekong.

"The main lesson from the group game is to expect the unexpected against Nigeria," Fae said per a daily post report.

"Last time we prepared for 4-4-2 and they played 5-4-1 so that took us aback. We have to be ready for tactical changes again."

Nigeria will lock horns against Ivory Coast in the AFCON 2023 final.

“Tomorrow (today) as I said we are going to prepare looking at ourselves and try to challenge them, try to control the game, being patient in the beginning but focusing on our strengths.”

On plan for Nigeria

Nigeria’s Super Eagles have gone from strength to strength during the tournament, becoming more solid in defence and dangerous in attack.

Former Ivory Coast manager Jean-Louis Gasset with Nigeria's Jose Peseiro (Credit: Imago)

But the interim coach believes Ivory Coast can use the extra time they have had to rest and recover to their advantage.

"For us it's the opposite, we gained strength from the match against Senegal in the last 16," he added. "We will try to tire Nigeria out over 90 minutes."

Emerse Fae was appointed during the competition. || Imago

Ivory Coast are aiming for their third AFCON title while Nigeria have won the tournament three times previously.

The Super Eagles edged past South Africa and Angola on their way to the final in Bimpe.

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