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Dismissed Ivory Coast coach insists Super Eagles are AFCON favourite


Jean-Louis Gasset has said that Nigeria are favorites when they take on Ivory Coast in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan.
The 70-year-old French football tactician will not be in the Ivory Coast dugout in the AFCON showpiece as he was dismissed by the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) following the Elephants’ 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea in their final Group A match.
While Kelechi Iheanacho scored the decisive penalty kick that sent Nigeria through to the final, former West Ham striker Sébastien Haller was the hero for Ivory Coast in their 1-0 win over Democratic Republic of Congo after his looping shot bounced off the turf over the goalkeeper.
Jean-Louis Gasset reckons that the Super Eagles are favorites to win the final against the Elephants because they have in ther ranks reigning African Footballer of the Year, Victor Osimhen.
The Napoli superstar has managed only one goal in the ongoing tournament but has caught the eye with his work rate, physicality and ability to create something from nothing.
Osimhen won penalties against Ivory Coast and South Africa, forced an own goal against Equatorial Guinea and provided the assist for Ademola Lookman’s first goal in the round of 16 against Cameroon.
Speaking to L’Equipe via Ouest France, Jean-Louis Gasset said: “Ivory Coast are not favorites because Nigeria are higher ranked in Africa and have Osimhen, the best African Player of the Year.
“But with Haller, Adingra and maybe Pépé, it’s no longer the same team. I knew they would gain momentum. My departure brought peace. I am proud of the Elephants, happy. “
Nigeria beat Ivory Coast in the group stage with William Troost-Ekong netting the game-winning goal from the spot in the 55th minute.

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