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The 10 funniest moments of the 2023 AFCON

On Sunday evening, the Africa Cup in Côte d'Ivoire, ended with a sensational victory for the host nation. A tournament that provided some great entertainment, with 119 goals scored in 52 matches and even seven coach dismissals (two of them even during the tournament). In addition, there were also many bizarre scenes on and off the pitch that caused much amusement in the world of social media.

Some Ivorian father trying to flirt with a Senegalese.

A look back at the first game of this AFCON: Just two minutes into their game versus the Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau's defender Jefferson Encada completed the first crucial clearance, kicking the ball away, causing a corner.

But he forgot: there was absolutely no need for that, since he wasn't really under pressure.

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From a distance of over 40 meters, Cape Verdean striker Bebé shot on goal against Mozambique. Fortunately for him, the goalkeeper wasn't really awake and let the ball into the net.

The clip of the former Manchester United player's goal went viral, prompting the German newspaper "11 Freunde" to change the Britney Spears song lyric from "Hit me Baby One More Time" to "Hit me, Bebé, one more time".

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Watching Gambia's Muhammed Sanneh punch the ball into the net against Cameroon in the 93rd minute to equalise brings back memories of Diego Maradona's Hand of God.

It's unclear whether the defender from the Czech side Banik Ostrava really took the football legend as a role model. What he perhaps should have considered: there is VAR. The cheating was quickly exposed, the goal rightfully disallowed, and Gambia lost the game 2-3.

The difference between Henry Cavill and Neblú? One is a Superman actor and is allowed to fly like Superman. The other is a goalkeeper for the Angolan national team and shouldn't do that—or at least not outside the penalty area and then touch the ball.

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However, that's exactly what the 30-year-old did in the game versus Burkina Faso. Although he committed an intentional handball outside the penalty area, potentially preventing a clear goal-scoring opportunity, he only got a yellow card. Lucky for him, but as the commentator correctly says in the clip: "No, you can't do that."

What in the world is wrong with Neblú? The goalkeeper has clearly learnt nothing from his Superman move in the previous group game. Just 17 minutes had been played in the round of 16 against Namibia when he tried to defend against the onrushing striker. However, he must have forgotten that there is an end to the penalty area. He then defends his opponent's attempted lob ball outside the penalty area with his hands and is sent off. Luckily for him, his replacement saved the subsequent free kick and all the other balls. Despite being short-handed for a long time, Angola won 3:0 and progressed to the quarter-finals.

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After Mohamed Salah's back injury, El Ahly attacker Emam Ashour (25) was supposed to follow in his footsteps. Emphasis on "was supposed to." According to several media outlets, Ashour attempted a backflip in training a few days before the round of 16 final. It went wrong; Ashour suffered a serious head injury and was ruled out of the clash against DR Congo due to a concussion. Ashour himself never confirmed the attempted backflip, but later stated on Instagram that he was between "life and death" and saw things that he "wouldn't wish on anyone."

Hopes were high that Côte d'Ivoire would make a breakthrough after their disappointing group stage – and the celebration was even greater after their victory in the round of 16 against defending champions Senegal. The fans in the stadium in the capital Yamoussoukro went wild and celebrated, while one man took advantage of the moment and tried hard to convince the woman sitting next to him. Unfortunately for him, the family man was caught by TV cameras during his intrusive flirting attempts. He later publicly apologized to his wife, children, and family. According to him, he did not obtain the phone number he wanted from the Senegalese woman.

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After scoring the winning goal in the 120th minute at a major sporting event in your own country, it's natural to be a little more enthusiastic than usual. It's also understandable that you might be so happy that you take off your own T-shirt. And yet, Oumar Diakité (20) probably could have thought about this action a little more carefully. Just nine minutes earlier, he had already received a yellow card. His teammate was obviously still aware of this and tried to stop him from removing his shirt. It didn't help; Diakité removed the top, was then sent off, and was suspended for the semi-final.

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When your team is eliminated from a major tournament after conceding a goal in the 120th minute, it's human nature to shed a tear or two. In the case of Mali's coach Éric Chelle (46), it was much more than just a tear or two. However, it wasn't his full bags of tears that were to blame, but one of his staff members. He calmly poured a bottle of water over Chelle's head. Whether the water was a somewhat unconventional method of wiping away the tears or whether Chelle had just been baptized after the final whistle hasn’t been revealed yet.

What Victor Osimhen was thinking about in this scene probably remains his own secret. During the quarter-final against Angola, the Nigerian star striker just sat on the bench, even though he had not yet been officially substituted. The confused Osimhen then had to run back onto the pitch. A short time later, Osimhen was officially allowed to call it a day.

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