Ivory Coast ended years of frustration to claim their second African Nations Cup crown following a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Ghana in the final.
The Elephants, whose only previous triumph in the competition came back in 1992, looked set for their third final defeat in nine years when they fell 2-0 behind in the shootout after the teams played out a drab goalless draw in Bata.
But Ghana fluffed their lines and Ivorian goalkeeper Boubacar Barry would become the hero in this year’s edition when he first saved opposite number Brimah Razak’s penalty before stepping up to score his spot-kick and seal a climactic 9-8 success.
Barry created some controversy during the shootout after going down twice with what appeared to be cramp, the second time coming just before he took his decisive kick.
Whether or not the Lokeren keeper’s actions were genuine, it added tension to an encounter that had been decidedly lacking excitement in the previous 120 minutes.
The contest was billed as a ‘dream final’ between two of the continent’s most prominent teams on the world stage — yet it proved to be uninspiring for large spells.