An entire country can believe in it again, after having been on the verge of exasperation. Host of the 2024 African Cup of Nations (CAN), Ivory Coast will compete in the round of 16 of the competition. A qualification that the Ivorians owe to... Moroccans.
Indeed, although already qualified for the final table even before the last day, the Atlas Lions still played the game and dominated Zambia this Wednesday (1-0), which allowed the Coast to Ivory to be the fourth best third, the last to continue its adventure, ahead of Ghana and Zambia, who would have only needed a point to spoil the party.
Morocco made the difference thanks to its captain, Hakim Ziyech, on the lookout in the area for a ball poorly repelled by the Zambian defense to propel the ball into the back of the net in the 37th minute of play (1-0) . Unfortunately for Ziyech, he then had to let his teammates manage without him since, injured in an ankle, he had to give up his place at the break.
But all the Ivorian people had to hold their breath until the end, with Zambia pushing in the final moments to snatch this precious equalizer. In vain, Ziyech remaining the only player of the day to have scored on a final day of the group stage that was very stingy in terms of goals. Thus, in the other meeting of this group, Tanzania and Congo parted with a goalless draw (0-0), which allows the Congolese to maintain their 2nd place and validate their ticket for the 8th finals .