In a thrilling finale to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, Ivory Coast’s manager Emerse Fae has attributed their stunning comeback against Nigeria’s Super Eagles to a pivotal halftime team talk.
Fae, hailed as a hero in Cote d’Ivoire, orchestrated his team’s remarkable 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the final match on Sunday, as reported by Pulse Sports Nigeria.
The former French international coach noted a crucial observation during the first half, recognizing signs of fatigue and subpar performance among the Nigerian players, despite their 1-0 lead.
“We noticed the Nigerian players were tired in the first half,” Fae disclosed in a post on Instagram. “They were not at their usual best.”
During halftime, Fae urged his team to elevate their game’s intensity, a message that resonated profoundly with the players. This strategic adjustment bore fruit in the second half, with Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller netting decisive goals to seal the victory.
“I told my players during the half-time break that we must increase the intensity of our game and it worked out well for us,” Fae, 40, revealed.
The Super Eagles had initially taken the lead through William Troost-Ekong’s powerful header, but Ivory Coast’s resurgence in the second half, fueled by Fae’s instructions, turned the tide in their favor.
By capitalizing on Nigeria’s apparent fatigue, Ivory Coast executed Fae’s halftime directives to perfection, clinching a historic 2-1 win and securing their third-ever AFCON title on home soil.