AFCON 2023: Countries that have won back-to-back trophies

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The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is finally upon us and the quest to become newly crowned African champions commences on Saturday 13th January in Ivory Coast.

AFCON’s consecutive winners:

Egypt (1957 and 1959)

Egypt became the first team to win the AFCON twice but under unusual circumstances. They defeated Ethiopia 4-0 in the championship match at the Municipal Stadium, Khartoum to win the inaugural Africa Cup of Nations in 1957.

In that final, Ad-Diba was Egypt’s outstanding player, scoring every goal in the crushing victory. They participated in the 1959 AFCON, and defeated Sudan 2-1 at the Prince Farouk Stadium, Cairo in the AFCON final match to win the title.

In that match, Essam Baheeg scored twice, including the game-winning goal in the 89th minute.

Ghana (1963 and 1965)

Ghana won the AFCON in 1963 and 1965 to become the second team in AFCON history to win the tournament twice in a row.

The Black Stars defeated Sudan 3-0 at the Kumasi Sports Stadium in the AFCON final game to earn their first AFCON title in 1963.

The home crowd went into a frenzy after Edward Aggrey-Fynn’s penalty kick in the 62nd minute gave Ghana the lead, and Edward Acquah added a late double to wrap up the victory for Ghana.

The Black Stars defeated hosts Tunisia 3-2 at the Stade Chedli stadium in the AFCON final match of 1965, successfully defending their title.

In the final game, Frank Odoi scored twice, including the game-winning goal in the ninetieth minute.

Cameroun (2000 and 2002)

After winning the title in 2000 and 2002, Cameroun became the third team in AFCON history to win two consecutive AFCONs.

The Indomitable Lions earned their third AFCON title in 2000, overcoming Nigeria at the Lagos National Stadium in a thrilling penalty shootout after the match ended 2:2 draw in both regulation and extra time in the final.

In 2002, they triumphantly defended their title, defeating Senegal at the Stade du 26 Mars, Bamako Mali in the AFCON final game by yet another penalty shootout.

The match went to a shootout after both teams failed to strike the back of the net in regular and extra time.

Egypt (2006, 2008, and 2010)

With their championship run from 2006 to 2010, Egypt made AFCON history by becoming the first team to win three straight AFCON titles.

In the 2006 AFCON final, Egypt defeated Ivory Coast 4-2 in a penalty shootout at the Cairo International Stadium, Cairo to win their fifth AFCON championship.

After defeating Cameroun 1-0 at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, Ghana in the AFCON finals, Egypt won the title again in 2008.

In that match, Mohamed Aboutrika was the standout player as he scored the game’s only goal in the 77th minute to secure the title for the Pharaohs.

In 2010, after defeating Ghana 1-0 at the Estádio 11 de Novembro in Luanda, Angola in the AFCON finals, Egypt won their third consecutive AFCON title, thanks to a goal from Gedo in the 85th minute that broke the hearts of the Black Stars to secure a third successive AFCON title for the Pharaohs.

Sadio Mane, who joined the Saudi Pro League this year admitted that while winning two years ago was difficult, retaining the title will be more strenuous.

”I believe the 2024 Cup of Nations will be the toughest to win because the line-up is the strongest,” he said in reference to the fact that the top 15 ranked teams have qualified.

“I cannot recall a stronger field. All the giants are going to be in Ivory Coast, and all of them will be plotting to dethrone us,” Mane added.

The 31-year-old footballer won all possible trophies with Liverpool including the Club World Cup, Champions League and Premier League, but says none of those triumphs can be compared to lifting the Cup of Nations trophy in Cameroun two years ago.

“Winning the last AFCON was the greatest moment of my career. No other success compares to it.”

“It was a special achievement, and one I dreamt of since childhood. Our victory had a massive impact on all Senegalese,” he added.

Senegal is a strong favourite going into the competition, and the Teranga Lions are aiming for consecutive AFCON titles to add their names to the archives of nations to have won back-to-back AFCON.

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