The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations got to a thrilling end on Sunday night with ‘underdogs’ Zambia winning the coveted trophy for the very first time in their football history after they edged out cup favourite Ivory Coast by 8-7 (penalty kicks).
The Ivoriens had the chance to wrap up the game in the second half when they were handed a penalty kick in the 70th minute of the tension-soaked encounter. Team captain, Didier Drogba, however failed to convert the spot kick.
With both sides failing to score within 90mins, the game dragged into extra time and then penalties.
Both sides scored their first seven kicks but misses from Manchester City’s Kolo Toure and Arsenal’s Gervinho condemned the Ivoriens to yet another defeat in the finals and handed the Zambians their first African crown.
Zambia’s Christopher Kantogo was adjuged the tournament’s Most Valuable Player while teammate Emmanuel Mayuka won the highest goal scorer award.
It is expected that the city of Lusaka and its environs would be agog with celebration while the inhabitants of Abidjan and beyond would be ruing another trophy miss by Ivory Coast’s supposed ‘golden generation’.