The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations saw a number of Bundesliga players compete in the tournament which hosts Ivory Coast won with a 2-1 victory against Nigeria in the final, Sébastien Haller netting the winning goal as both the Borussia Dortmund man and Odilon Kossounou of Bayer Leverkusen celebrated with the Elephants.
Final: Ivory Coast 2-1 Nigeria
The host nation completed an incredible tournament triumph having looked all but eliminated from the competition on several occasions. A showpiece victory against Nigeria came courtesy of Sébastien Haller's winning strike nine minutes from time at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium. The Borussia Dortmund marksman connected with Simon Adingra's centre to net his second goal in the tournament and give the Elephants their third AFCON triumph. Bayer Leverkusen's Odilon Kossounou was also part of the victorious Ivorian side, with the 23-year-old featuring in the Round of 16, quarter-final and final for the eventual winners.
Semi-final: Ivory Coast 1-0 DR Congo
Borussia Dortmund's Sébastien Haller scored his first goal in this year's Africa Cup of Nations in what was his first start at the tournament as hosts Ivory Coast reached the competition's showpiece thanks to a narrow semi-final win against DR Congo. Haller's volley into the ground boounced over Congo goalkeeper Lionel M'Pasi to send the majority of fans inside the Alassane Ouattara Stadium into raptures. As the hosts partied in a festive atmosphere, there was disappointment for Stuttgart striker Silas, who entered the last-four contest as a 78th minute substitute. Silas and Congo have the consolation of Saturday's third-place play-off against South Africa on Saturday to look forward to, while Haller and Ivory Coast play the eight-time finalists Nigeria in the tournament final the following day.
Watch: Bundesliga players at the Africa Cup of Nations
Previous results involving Bundesliga players
Mali 1-2 Ivory Coast
There were mixed experiences for the Bundesliga's pair of Ivorians as the hosts made it through to the last four in dramatic circumstances. Leverkusen's Odilon Kossounou was shown two yellow cards in the first-half and consequently had to leave the field. Borussia Dortmund striker Sébastien Haller came on at half-time and played through the incredible events of the rest of the match. Mali took the lead only for the hosts to level in the 90th minute - and nothing could separate the sides until the ten men of Ivory Coast struck a winner in stoppage time of the second period of extra time to spark scenes of delirium.
DR Congo 3-1 Guinea
Silas came on in the 59th minute as DR Congo reached the semi-finals with a come-from-behind victory over Guinea. The Stuttgart attacker missed a late chance to add a fourth goal, shortly after club-mate Serhou Guirassy - also on in the second half - had seen a headed effort deflected wide at the other end. Bremen's Naby Keïta, meanwhile, played the full 90 minutes in the Guinea midfield.
Morocco 0-2 South Africa
Bayern's Noussair Mazraoui and Leverkusen's Amine Adli both started for Morocco in their round of 16 clash with South Africa. The duo were both substituted off in the second half of a game in which former Borussia Dortmund full-back Achraf Hakimi missed a late penalty - and the chance to equalise - before South Africa sealed the deal in stoppage time. As such, it's the end of the line for Morocco at this year's tournament.
Mali 2-1 Burkina Faso
Amadou Haidara started as Mali set up a quarter-final against hosts Ivory Coast by beating Burkina Faso. The RB Leipzig midfielder made a spectacular clearance with his nation leading 2-0, before being taken off in the 74th minute, having been in the wars for much of the contest. It marks the end of the road for Bayer Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba, whose third-minute own goal left Burkino Faso with it all to do.
Senegal 1-1 Ivory Coast (Ivory Coast won 5-4 on penalties)
Bayer Leverkusen defender Odilon Kossounou and Borussia Dortmund striker Sebastién Haller have a quarter-final against Mali to look forward to after Ivory Coast overcame holders Senegal in a penalty shootout. Kossounou was replaced in the 116th minute, while Haller - who came on with 72 minutes gone and the host nation 1-0 down - converted the Elephants' third spot-kick.
Egypt 1-1 DR Congo (DR Congo won 8-7 on penalties)
Ex-Stuttgart teammates Omar Marmoush and Silas both came off the bench and scored their penalties after a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes in San Pédro. However, the Pharoahs missed their ninth spot-kick as the Leopards advanced to the quarter-finals to face Guinea, providing an all-Stuttgart encounter with Silas and Guirassy.
Equatorial Guinea 0-1 Guinea
Guinea joined Nigeria and Angola in the quarter-finals after secring a last-gasp win over Equatorial Guinea. Serhou Guirassy and Naby Keïta dropped to the bench, but came on in the second half to help get their nation over the line.
Zambia 0-1 Morocco
Leverkusen's Amine Adli came off the bench at half-time to help his side hold on to a 1-0 win that guaranteed they go through to the knockout rounds as Group F winners.
Tanzania 0-0 DR Congo
VfB Stuttgart winger Silas was in the starting line-up and played for 53 minutes as his side drew with Tanzania, a result that took them through as Group F runners-up.
South Africa 0-0 Tunisia
Eintracht Frankfurt's Ellyes Skhiri and Union Berlin's Aïssa Laïdouni are on their way back to the Bundesliga earlier than expected. Both started against South Africa, but could not force the win that would have made last-16 qualification possible.
Mauritania 1-0 Algeria
It's the end of the road for Ramy Bensebaini and Farès Chaibi in the AFCON. Eintracht Frankfurt's Chaibi didn't make it off the bench, while Borussia Dortmund's Bensebaini was not in the squad as Algeria finished bottom of their section.
Angola 2-0 Burkina Faso
Edmond Tapsoba can look forward to playing in the last-16 after Burkina Faso finished second in Group D, behind Angola. The Bayer Leverkusen centre-back played the full 90 minutes for the third game in a row.
Guinea 0-2 Senegal
Serhou Guirassy and Naby Keïta made their first starts of the finals, but could not prevent Guinea from losing to Group C winners Senegal. They advanced to the knockouts, though, as one of the best third-placed teams.
Cape Verde 2-2 Egypt
Omar Marmoush was named in the Egypt starting line-up, the Eintracht Frankfurt forward playing 83 minutes and collecting a booking in a 2-2 draw that secured the Pharaohs' place in the last 16 as Group B runners-up behind Cape Verde.
Equatorial Guinea 4-0 Ivory Coast
Bayer Leverkusen defender Odilon Kossounou was an unused substitute as Ivory Coast's hopes of reaching the last 16 were dealt a massive blow in defeat to Equatorial Guinea. Borussia Dortmund striker Sebastién Haller missed out for the second straight match through injury.
Tunisia 1-1 Mali
Eintracht Frankfurt's Ellyes Skhiri and Union Berlin's Aïssa Laïdouni helped Tunisia pick up their first point in Group E. RB Leipzig's Amadou Haidara played 69 minutes for section leaders Mali.
Algeria 2-2 Burkina Faso
Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen defenders Ramy Bensebaini and Edmond Tapsoba played the full 90 minutes of the 2-2 draw between Algeria and Burkina Faso. Eintracht Frankfurt's Farès Chaibi joined Bensebaini on the pitch for Algeria in the second half.
Morocco 1-1 DR Congo
Stuttgart's Silas struck a second-half equaliser for Congo to cancel out ex-Borussia Dortmund defender Achraf Hakimi's opener for Tunisia in San-Pédro.
Guinea 1-0 Gambia
Serhou Guirassy was an unused sub and Naby Keïta came on for the final 13 minutes as Guinea claimed a tight win over Gambia to guarantee them a top three spot in Group C. RB Leipzig-owned Ilaix Moriba played 87 minutes in Yamoussoukro.
Watch: All of Marmoush's Bundesliga goals in 2023/24
Morocco 3-0 Tanzania
Amine Adli won his fourth Morocco cap, coming on in the 71st minute of his country's 3-0 win over Tanzania in Group F.
DR Congo 1-1 Zambia
Stuttgart forward Silas was an injury-time substitute in DR Congo's 1-1 draw with Zambia in the other Group F fixture.
Mali 2-0 South Africa
Leipzig's Amadou Haidara lasted until the 87th-minute of Mali's 2-0 victory over South Africa, which marked a perfect start to the competition for the Malians. Diadie Samassékou wasn't named in the squad for that match.
Tunisia 0-1 Namibia
Ellyes Skhiri lasted the full 90 minutes of Tunisia's shock defeat at the hands of Namibia, which also saw Aïssa Laïdouni enter the action at half-time. Oussama Haddadi was an unused substitute as Namibia claimed their first ever AFCON victory.
Burkina Faso 1-0 Mauritania
Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba is one of Burkina Faso's leader, and he played the full 90 minutes in his side's curtain-raiser against Mauritania. It looks like his team would have to make do with a point and a clean sheet until Bertrand Traoré scored a stoppage-time penalty to claim an important win.
Cameroon 1-1 Guinea
Injury kept Stuttgart scoring sensation Serhou Guirassy out of the squad for Guinea's opener, and Werder Bremen's Naby Keïta looked on as an unused substitute as his side battled their way to a point despite having a man sent off at the end of the first half.
Ghana 1-2 Cape Verde
Hamburg's Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer came on in the 62nd minute for André Ayew as Chris Hughton's Ghana suffered a shock opening defeat to Cape Verde.
Egypt 2-2 Mozambique
Frankfurt's Marmoush was a 66th substitute as Egypt kicked off their campaign against comparative minnows Mozambique. However, despite Mohamed Salah's last-gasp penalty, the previous AFCON's finalists could only manage a 2-2 draw.
Ivory Coast 2-0 Guinea-Bissau
Leverkusen defender Kossounou was an unused substitute in host nation Ivory Coast's win over Guinea-Bissau on opening night, while Dortmund striker Sebastién Haller was ruled out through injury.
What is AFCON?
The Africa Cup of Nations is Africa’s equivalent of the UEFA European Championship, played to determine the continent’s champions. Unlike its European counterpart, which is held every four years, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) organise their tournament every two years, first being played in 1957.
The record winners are Egypt with seven titles, while Senegal are the current holders after lifting the trophy for the first time by beating the Pharaohs on penalties in Cameroon two years ago.
When is AFCON being played?
As of 2019, the Africa Cup of Nations was moved from its traditional January/February slot to June/July and the northern hemisphere’s summer to avoid clashes with the European football calendar. However, CAF confirmed in July 2022 that the 2023 edition will revert to the northern hemisphere winter due to summer weather conditions in the Ivory Coast.
This year’s edition will therefore, while retaining the name 2023, be played from 13 January to 11 February 2024.
Where is AFCON being played?
Ivory Coast, often referred to by its official French name of Côte d'Ivoire, was originally awarded the rights to host the 2021 Cup of Nations back in 2014. However, a string of changes in 2018 and 2019 saw Ivory Coast’s rights pushed back one edition to 2023.
A total of six venues will be used across the West African country:
Alassane Ouattara Stadium (60,000 – Abidjan)
Stade de la Paix (40,000 – Bouaké)
Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium (33,000 – Abidjan)
Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium (20,000 – Korhogo)
Laurent Pokou Stadium (20,000 – San-Pédro)
Charles Konan Banny Stadium (20,000 – Yamoussoukro)
Watch: Bundesliga Legends visit Africa
Which countries will compete?
A total of 54 teams originally entered qualifying to get to the finals. The 24 qualified nations were then drawn into six groups of four as follows:
Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau
Egypt, Ghana, Cape Verde, Mozambique
Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea, Gambia
Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Angola
Tunisia, Mali, South Africa, Namibia
Morocco, DR Congo, Zambia, Tanzania
Hosts Ivory Coast opened the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau on 13 January at Abidjan’s Ouattara stadium. The six group winners and runners-up will advance to the knockout stage, with the four best third-placed teams making it 16 nations to progress. The final will be held again at Ouattara on 11 February.
Watch: Dortmund's Karim Adeyemi visits Nigeria for charity work
Which Bundesliga players will be in action?
Given the timing of this year’s tournament, players called up to represent their country could miss up to five (or six for Bayern Munich and Union Berlin players) Bundesliga fixtures, with the German top flight set to return from its winter break on 12 January. Bayer Leverkusen are the most impacted with four call-ups.
Players for Bundesliga 2 clubs could miss up to four rounds of league fixtures, with action resuming in the second tier from 19 January.
The following players have been named in the final squad for their country:
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Edmond Tapsoba (Bayer Leverkusen)
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Silas Mvumpa (VfB Stuttgart)
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