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AFCON hosts Ivory Coast aim to overcome DR Congo in semifinals

 Ivory Coast full back Serge Aurier (left) in action against Mali.[CAF Online]

Ivory Coast's remarkable journey at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) has captivated football fans worldwide, as the host nation defies the odds to advance to the semi-finals.

Despite facing numerous challenges, including a change in management mid-tournament, the Elephants have displayed resilience and determination, securing victories over Senegal and Mali in the knockout stages.

Emerse Faé's side needed a dramatic 90th-minute equalizer and extra time to overcome Mali in the quarter-finals, but their triumph came at a cost with two players suspended for the upcoming semi-final clash against DR Congo.

However, with a strong track record in semi-finals, having won three of their last four appearances, Ivory Coast remains optimistic about their chances of lifting the trophy once again.

Standing in their path is DR Congo, who have reached just their third semi-final since the country's renaming in 1997.

Sébastien Desabre's men have endured a challenging journey to this stage, but a convincing victory over Guinea in the quarter-finals has bolstered their confidence.

Despite Ivory Coast's historical dominance in semi-finals, DR Congo is determined to turn the tide and secure their place in the final.

With both teams boasting talented players, including Ivory Coast captain Serge Aurier and DR Congo center-back Chancel Mbemba, the stage is set for a thrilling encounter.

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