22.02.2024Bayer 04

Bayer 04 staff honour AFCON winner Kossounou

Odilon Kossounou certainly deserved this reception: At a Bayer 04 staff meeting, Fernando Carro, CEO, and head coach Xabi Alonso presented the Africa Cup of Nations winner with a special memento of his great achievement on behalf of all members of staff. The Werkself player won AFCON with Ivory Coast in the middle of February in his own country.

Standing ovations, resounding applause and warm embraces: After his teammates gave him a fitting reception a few days ago, Bayer 04 members of staff now congratulated Kossounou on winning AFCON with the Ivory Coast.

"I experienced everything at the tournament. Losing 4-0 in front of our own fans in the group stage was painful. But we kept on going and won in the end. That helps me and my mentality – hopefully I can pass on some of that to the team," said Kossounou.



setbacks overcome, victory in the final

The Ivorians started the tournament in their own country with a 2-0 win against Guinea-Bissau. However, the hosts lost the other group matches against Nigeria (0-1) and Equatorial Guinea (0-4). Ivory Coast went through the knockout rounds as one of the four best third-placed teams. Werkself player Kossounou did not play in the three group matches. Coach Jean-Louis Gasset was sacked following the two defeats and before the Round of 16 game.

His successor Emerse Faé made changes for the knockout rounds including bringing Kossounou into the line-up. The Leverkusen defender played 116 minutes in the win on penalties against Senegal in the Round of 16. The following quarter-final against Mali saw Kossounou sent off on 43 minutes for a second yellow card offence but the Ivorians went on to win 2-1 in extra time. That was followed by a 1-0 win against the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the suspended Werkself player looking on from the stands. Kossounou returned to the starting XI for the final between Ivory Coast and Nigeria – and he celebrated a 2-1 victory with his teammates.



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