Rivers United forward Yao Kouassi Bernard has confidently backed his home country, Ivory Coast, to emerge victorious in the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final against Nigeria.
The 29-year-old striker expressed his unflinching support for the Elephants during an interview with media personality Harrison Victor, Footballrover reports.
“Of course, it’s my home. I’m hopeful they will take the AFCON,” he declared with conviction.
Ivory Coast booked their place in the final with a hard-fought 1-0 win over DR Congo, thanks to a decisive 65th-minute goal from Sebastien Haller.
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles of Nigeria edged past South Africa 4-2 on penalties after a tense 1-1 draw, securing their spot in the championship match.
While discussing his experience with Rivers United, Kouassi acknowledged facing challenges alongside his teammates but emphasised the club’s commitment to improvement this season.
“It’s not so bad; we’ve been losing some points back then, but now we are working hard to come up,” he admitted.
The former ASEC Mimosas star joined the Nigerian club at the start of the 2023–24 campaign, signing a one-year contract with an optional extension.
Prior to this, he had stints with South African club TS Galaxy and Indian side SC Bengaluru.
When pressed about his allegiances during the Ivory Coast-Nigeria clash, Kouassi offered a playful response with a sheepish smile.
“I don’t know, ooh!” he said, leaving his true prediction cleverly veiled.