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Ivory Coast lost to Equatorial Guinea 0:4 on home soil at AFCON2023-hopes against hope to qualify to round of 16 as best losers

Ivory Coast, the host of the ongoing African Cup of Nations, AFCON2023, competition, could not defeat Equatorial Guinea in their last group A game played today. The Elephants failed to muster their strength and their home advantage but instead succumbed to the men from Equatorial Guinea by four goals to nothing. With this result, Ivory Coast ends the group stage of the competition with three points secured in their opening match and win over Guinea Bissau. They lost to Nigeria 0:1 and to Equatorial Guinea 0:4. On the other hand, Nigeria this evening defeated Guinea Bissau 1:0 to book their slot in the round of 16

The Ivorians are tournament favorites, but everything seemed to have fallen apart for them and into pieces after their first game and victory over Guinea Bissau. Perhaps it was a mentality issue and too much hype, believing that as hosts they have all it takes to beat every team and lift the cup. If their defeat by Nigeria can be excused, not the defeat by Equatorial Guinea, and losing by four goals and not being able to slot in a single goal throughout the 96 minutes of play says so much about the quality, mentality, and preparedness of the host team to win the competition, or in the least, progress to the knockout stage.

For now, the wounded Elephants of Ivory Coast will have much explaining to give to their fans and nation as to what happened. It has been a very big disappointment after much expectation. It is now hope against hope for their progress into the knockout stages. This will depend on what happens in the other five groups, how many third-place finishers end up with four or three points and how many goals difference. It is now a game of wait and see and a game of luck for the Elephants

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