Dead Lamb Devours Teranga Lions: Côte d’ivoire Feast on Afcon Upset as Senegal Chokes (Again)!

cote d'ivoire beat senegal- photo credit cafonline
cote d'ivoire beat senegal- photo credit @cafonline

Act I: The Underdog’s Lament

Ah, the sweet smell of redemption! Just a sniff ago, the mighty Elephants of Ivory Coast were teetering on the brink of Afcon oblivion. Two defeats, a whimper of a win, and whispers of discontent hung heavy in the Abidjan air. Yet, our heroes, fueled by the battle cry “Discouragement is not Ivorian,” and armed with the spirit of a dead lamb facing a cleaver, marched on.

Enter Emerse Fae, the caretaker coach tasked with reviving the slumbering beast. “Rediscover my Elephants,” he roared, and rediscover they did! Back came the veterans, the talismans, the men with stories etched in penalty shootouts past. Serge Aurier, captain’s armband glinting, his gaze fixed on glory. Marc Gradel, leading the charge with the ferocity of a man whose nation needs him.

Act II: The Lion’s Roar (Quickly Muffled)

Across the pitch, the Teranga Lions of Senegal basked in the golden glow of invincibility. Three wins, eight goals, the aura of champions hung heavy. “The group stage is over,” their coach cautioned, “a new competition begins.” Wise words, soon forgotten.

Habib Diallo, bless his cotton socks, drew first blood. A Mane assist, a clinical finish, and the Senegalese faithful roared. But in the stands, a different roar took hold. The “Abidjanaise” echoed, a defiant melody reminding the Elephants of their purpose.

Act III: The Dead Lamb Bites Back (and Doesn’t Let Go)

Then, with the clock ticking down, fate intervened. A clumsy challenge, a whistle’s shriek, and Franck Kessie stepped up. The stadium held its breath as he sent the ball hurtling past Mendy, silencing the Senegalese swagger. Penalty shootout? The lamb, it seemed, had developed a taste for lion.

Kessie, once again, the ice-veined hero. Senegal faltered, their overconfidence a cruel mistress. The final whistle blew, and the lamb, not so dead after all, had devoured the lion. History repeated itself, another defending champion falling victim to the Afcon curse.

  • AFCON 2023: previous champion Senegal ends in the round of sixteen
  • AFCON 2021: previous champion Algeria ended in the group stage
  • AFCON 2019: previous champion Cameroon ended up in the round of sixteen
  • AFCON 2017: previous champion Côte d’ivoire ended up in the group stage
  • AFCON 2015: previous champion Nigeria did not participate
  • AFCON 2013: previous champion Zambia ended up in the group stage

The Curtain Falls… But the Show Goes On

So, the Elephants march on, their tusks sharpened, their eyes fixed on the prize. Mali or Burkina Faso await, but fear not, dear reader, for the spirit of the dead-but-not-so-dead lamb now roams the tournament. And who knows, maybe, just maybe, it will lead them all the way to glory.


Lawrence NKEDE, On special assignment , Yamoussoukro, Côte d’ivoire

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