By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Cote d’Ivoire grabbed its first victory in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, defeating Iran in a thrilling match with a score of 71-69.
The decisive moments unfolded in the final seconds, as Solo Diabate sank three consecutive free throws to turn the score around. Behnam Yakhchali missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer.
Nisre Zouzoua led the African team with 17 points, while Maxence Dadiet and Amadou Sidibe added 10 points each.
For Iran, Yakhchali had 19 points, and Mohammad Amini contributed 15. Veteran Hamed Haddadi finished the match with nine points and eight rebounds, tying the team’s highest PIR of 16 with the top scorer, Yakhchali.
The finish of the game was also marked by a technical foul for Iran’s head coach, Hakan Demir, and that’s why Diabate got three attempts from the free-throw line with six seconds on the clock. After he hit all three shots, and Yakhchali missed the potential game-winner, Demir had something to say to the referees.
Iran will now face Spain in the last round of the group stage, while Cote d’Ivoire meets Brazil (30/08). A big win for the African team, which aims to qualify directly for the Olympics as the best-placed team from the African continent.