Emerse Fae crowned Best Coach of the tournament
Emerse Fae has been named the Best Coach of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament for his pivotal role in orchestrating Côte d’Ivoire’s remarkable resurgence during the tournament.
The 40-year-old former international player stepped into the role as a caretaker coach when the host nation faced the brink of elimination following a discouraging 1-0 loss to Nigeria and a devastating 4-0 defeat against Equatorial Guinea.
Fae’s leadership spurred a dramatic turnaround as he guided the team to eliminate defending champions Senegal in the round of 16.
Subsequently, they staged an astonishing comeback against Mali in the quarterfinals, securing victory in extra time, before cruising to a convincing win over DR Congo in the semifinals.
The Elephants cemented their fairy-tale journey with a sensational comeback in the final against favourites Nigeria at the Alhassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, ultimately clinching the trophy with a 2-1 triumph.
The momentum shifted in Nigeria’s favour initially when William Troost-Ekong scored seven minutes before halftime, heading powerfully from a corner.
However, Franck Kessie levelled the score in the 62nd minute with a well-placed header from Adingra’s corner.
Adingra’s precision in delivery again played a pivotal role as Sebastian Haller netted the winning goal, capitalizing on another dangerous cross from the left.
The Ivorians’ journey to glory was marked by resilience and determination, overcoming the departure of coach Jean-Louis Gasset after two group-stage defeats.
Their well-deserved victory secured a third continental title for the West Africans, adding to their previous Nations Cup triumphs in 1992 and 2015.
Additionally, they etched their name in history as the first tournament hosts to claim victory after Egypt in 2006.