Ivory Coast v Nigeria last five H2Hs: Can the Elephants down the Super Eagles?

Ivory Coast are set to play their second match at AFCON 2023 when they face Nigeria on Thursday 18 January. The tournament hosts got off to the best possible start on the opening night when they defeated Guinea-Bissau 2-0 but they will be expecting a sterner test on Thursday night.

The Ivory Coast v Nigeria last five H2Hs suggest that we should expect a winner either way with a draw the least likely result. However, would either manager turn their nose up at a point here considering it would leave both teams in control of their AFCON destiny?

Ivory Coast v Nigeria last five H2Hs
Nigeria and the Ivory Coast can't be split on the H2H – Photo by Icon Sport

Ivory Coast v Nigeria H2H record

The Ivory Coast v Nigeria rivalry has been one to keep an eye on over the past 20 years. Both teams have been considered two of the best that Africa has had to offer and they have both featured regularly at World Cups. The overall H2H record narrowly favours the Ivory Coast but there isn't much in it.

  • Ivory Coast Wins: 7
  • Draws: 6
  • Nigeria Wins: 5

The very first Ivory Coast v Nigeria H2H came in 1967 in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying. Unlike more recent encounters, this match finished goalless with both sides more interested in not starting their campaign with a loss rather than looking to start with a win. In their 17 matches since, only two more have finished 0-0.

Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen will be the biggest name on the pitch on Thursday – Photo by Icon Sport

Ivory Coast v Nigeria last five H2Hs

Ivory Coast 1-2 Nigeria – 3rd February 2013

Ivory Coast and Nigeria last faced off in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013. The two teams were drawn to play each other in the quarter-finals of the tournament in what was a blockbuster showdown. Ivory Coast were the favourites with their squad of superstars which included Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou but it was Nigeria who prevailed thanks to goals from Emenike and Mba. Nigeria used this victory as a springboard to go on and win the tournament a few weeks later.

Nigeria 4-1 Ivory Coast – 6th July 2013

Nigeria and Ivory coast met again later on that year in the final round of qualifying for the Africa Nations Championship. This tournament requires all nations to select players who play their football in their home, domestic leagues so the starting lineups were vastly different, particularly for the Ivory Coast. Nigeria were dominant and recorded a 4-1 victory that put them in a dominant position heading into the second leg.

Ivory Coast 2-0 Nigeria – 27th July 2013

Ivory Coast came painfully close to completing a miraculous comeback in the second leg of African Nations Championship qualifying but fell just short. Kevin Zougoula scored his first and second goals for his nation in the match in what turned out to be his final appearance for The Elephants after moving to Bucharest shortly after. After securing qualification, Nigeria finished third in the tournament.

Ivory Coast 1-0 Nigeria – 11th January 2015

Ivory Coast's last win over Nigeria came in friendly in January 2015. The match was played on neutral ground and wasn't the most exciting of matches until Salomon Kalou netted a late winner for The Elephants. The match was both team's final match before the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and it seemed to five the Ivory Coast the boost they needed as they went on to win the tournament.

Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast – 11th January 2016

The most recent Ivory Coast v Nigeria H2H came in January 2016. The match was played in preparation for the 2016 African Nations Champions so, again, the squads weren't at their strongest. Nigeria won the match thanks to a goal from Ifeanyi Matthew on the stroke of half time. Despite winning the match, it was Ivory Coast who had greater joy at the tournament, finishing in third place while Nigeria crashed out in the group stages.

cheick tiote
The late Cheick Tiote scored the last time Ivory Coast and Nigeria met at the Africa Cup of Nations – Photo by Icon Sport

Potential MVP – Jean-Philippe Krasso

Jean-Philippe Krasso was the star of the show for the Ivory Coast on the opening night, providing the assist for Seko Fofana's opener before scoring himself in the second half. Krasso has been in good form for his club side, Red Star Belgrade, so far this season and is averaging a goal every other game in the Serbian Superliga.

Can he outshine Nigeria's Victor Osimhen who will be looking to down The Elephants at the other end of the pitch?

Jean-Philippe Krasso
Jean Philippe Krasso was the star of the show in Ivory Coast's opener – Photo by Icon Sport

Key trend

Looking at the Ivory Coast v Nigeria last five H2Hs, it's difficult to establish any trends as such given how different the squads have been in recent years due to the African Nations Championship. Looking at AFCON-specific trends, the Ivory Coast have won two of their last three meetings with Nigeria and we are backing them to get another win here with Jean-Philippe Krasso scoring the first goal of the game.

Avatar of Andy Delaney
Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance Sports Journalist with ten years of experience covering football in the United Kingdom and abroad for various publications including the Manchester Evening News, UtdReport and Football Whispers. Andy also has a keen interest in basketball, cricket, golf and tennis and has covered major sporting events such as the Masters in Augusta.