Cancer survivor Sebastian Haller breaks Nigerian hearts

Cancer survivor Sebastian Haller emerged as the hero in the Ivory Coast’s thrilling comeback victory in the Africa Nations Cup final.

Facing Nigeria in front of their home fans, the Ivory Coast found themselves trailing after William Troost-Ekong opened the scoring in the 38th minute.

However, Haller, who had overcome a battle with cancer, completed his remarkable personal journey by netting the winning goal in the 81st minute.

Ivory Coast started the match strongly, with Max Gradel and Simon Adingra both coming close to finding the back of the net.

But it was Nigeria who struck first, with Troost-Ekong heading home from a corner.

The Ivory Coast continued to press for an equalizer, with Calvin Bassey blocking Gradel’s shot on the line and Frank Kessié missing a diving header.

However, Kessié made amends in the 62nd minute, heading in a free-kick from Adingra to level the scores.

Haller had a chance to put the Ivory Coast ahead with an overhead kick but failed to find the target.

It was Adingra who ultimately set up Haller for the winning goal, poking home from close range in the 81st minute.

The victory was particularly poignant for Haller, who had his career put on hold by cancer.

His return to the pitch and subsequent triumph on the continent’s biggest stage was a testament to his resilience and determination.

Ivory Coast legends Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, both of whom watched the match from the stands, celebrated the team’s victory with pride.

The Ivory Coast’s path to the final had not been easy, as they only just scraped through the group stage.

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