MALABO: Veteran Ivory Coast goalkeeper Boubacar ‘Copa’ Barry saved a penalty and then stepped up to score himself to complete a 9-8 shootout win over Ghana after a 0-0 extra time draw in the final of the African Nations Cup in the capital of Equatorial Guinea.
A poor-quality, action-lacking final ended with tears of joy for Barry and tears of regret for his goalkeeping opposite number, Razak Braimah.
History repeated itself as the only other Ivorian title came in 1992 when they edged the Ghanaians, also on penalties after a goalless draw.
This final provided a anything but the anticipated ‘deam’ contest between the west African neighbours. Hence it became the fourth decider in the last eight to finish goalless and be settled by spot-kicks.
Ivory Coast and Ghana made one change each from the teams that started in convincing semi-final victories over the Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea respectively.
Ghana captain and star striker Asamoah Gyan passed a late fitness test on his injured hip and returned in place of semi-final scorer Jordan Ayew, a son of Black Stars legend Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew.
Ivory Coast switched goalkeepers with fit-again veteran Boubacar Barry recalled and Sylvain Gbohouo dropping to the bench after five consecutive appearances.
Ivory Coast: Boubacar Barry, Kolo Toure, Siaka Tiene (Salomon Kalou 116’), Serge Wilfried Kanon, Eric Bailly, Serge Aurier, Yaya Toure, Geoffroy Serey Die, Max Gradel (Seydou Doumbia 67’), Gervinho (Tallo 120’), Wilfried Bony
Ghana: Razak Braimah, Harrison Afful, John Boye, Jonathan Mensah, Baba Rahman, Mubarak Wakaso, Afriyie Acquah, Christian Atsu (Frank Acheampong 117’), Andre Ayew, Asamoah Gyan (Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu 120’), Kwesi Appiah (Jordan Ayew 99’) .
Penalties (Ghana first): Wakaso scores, Bony misses; J Ayew scores, Tallo misses; Acquah saved, Aurier scores; Acheampong misses, Doumbia scores; A Ayew scores, Yaya Toure scores; Mensah scores, Kalou scores; Agyemang-Badu scores, Kolo Toure scores; Afful scores, Kanon scores; Rahman scores, Bailly scores; Boye scores, Serey Die scores; Braimah saved, Barry scores