LIBREVILLE: Zambia lived up to the inspiration provided by the memory of tragedy to win the African Nations Cup for the first time when they beat tournament favourites Ivory Coast 8-7 on penalties after a goalless draw in Libreville.
After 14 kicks had been converted, Kolo Toure and Gervinho failed to find the target for the Elephants as Zambia’s Rainford Kalaba also fired over before Stoppila Sunzu hit the top corner. That was a sad outcome, however, for Ivorian skipper Didier Drogba, who had missed a spot-kick in normal time.
Ivory Coast, despite their many Premier League and European-based stars, had also lost the 2006 final to Egypt in a shootout and have now gone 20 years without success.
Chipolopolo, twice previously runners-up, concluded in triumph a tournament where they were inspired by the loss of the 1993 Zambian team after a plane crash close to the venue of the final in Libreville. The last time they had reached the final was just a year after 18 Zambian teams members died as they took off from the Gabonese capital in 1993.