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Abidjan Erupts in Joy as Cote d'Ivoire's Elephants Secure Surprise AFCON Round of 16 Spot

Abidjan Erupts in Joy as Cote d'Ivoire's Elephants Secure Surprise AFCON Round of 16 Spot

Abidjan witnessed exuberant celebrations on Wednesday night as the Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire secured an unexpected qualification for the Round of 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations. The streets came alive with revelry as people of all ages and genders poured out to express their joy after the Elephants' remarkable turnaround in fortunes.

Following a disheartening group stage collapse, marked by a 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea, the hosts faced formidable odds. However, Morocco's 1-0 victory over Zambia in San Pedro provided a lifeline, propelling Cote d'Ivoire into the knockout phase as one of the best four third-placed teams.

The electrifying scenes of celebration marked a stark contrast to the earlier disappointment, emphasizing the unpredictable nature of football tournaments. The jubilant atmosphere painted the streets with chants and expressions of joy as the nation rallied behind its football team.

In a surprising turn of events, the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) had announced the termination of the contract of 70-year-old French coach Jean-Louis Gasset and his assistant Ghislain Printant earlier on Wednesday. Gasset, with over 35 years of coaching experience in France and Spain, had taken charge of Cote d'Ivoire in May 2022, facing challenges during the group stage.

Despite the coaching shakeup, the unexpected twist in their AFCON journey brought renewed hope and excitement to the fans. The resilience of the Elephants and the unanticipated qualification serve as a testament to the unpredictable and thrilling nature of football on the continental stage.

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