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Ivory Coast celebrate Afcon triumph with bank holiday

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Ivory Coast celebrated winning the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) with a public holiday on Monday, announced by President Alassane Ouattara after their 2-1 win over Nigeria. 

Celebrations across the country erupted after the final whistle on Sunday and continued further afield as the Ivorian diaspora across the world celebrated their third Africa Cup of Nations. 

At full-time Ivorians in Paris took to the streets and fans in London celebrated in restaurants, but the joy in the host country continued into Monday thanks to President Outtara’s announcement.

It was Ivory Coast’s first Afcon since 2015 when the likes of Didier Drogba, Yaya Touré and Gervinho lifted the trophy. 

However, this time round the explosion of joy was tenfold as Les Elephants sealed the win in front of thousands of their own fans as tournament hosts for the first time since 1984. 

Having initially fallen behind to a William Troost-Ekong header, Ivory Coast roared back through goals from Franck Kessié and Sébastien Haller in the 62nd and 81st minutes respectively. 

Brighton’s Simon Adingra was integral in the comeback, assisting both goals as the hosts again showed their character in the tournament. 

The fightback in the final epitomised this Ivory Coast side, who did not do things the easy way at any point of the tournament. 

Having been on the brink of elimination in the group stage they sacked manager Jean-Louis Gasset before they were technically eliminated, only to put Emerse Faé in charge when results went their way. 

They beat Senegal in the Round of 16 on penalties, edged past Mali with a 122nd minute goal and beat Democratic Republic of Congo by one goal. 

The grit and determination of Les Elephants made this a memorable tournament for all, but for the fans the public holiday will have sweetened the deal.

Afcon highlights

The final

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