Wednesday 20 September 2017

Ivory Coast prevail in African Cup shoot-out drama

Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure celebrates with the trophy after his side's victory in theAfrican Cup of Nations final against Ghana in Bata. AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZACARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images
Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure celebrates with the trophy after his side's victory in theAfrican Cup of Nations final against Ghana in Bata. AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZACARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

Ivory Coast ended years of frustration to claim their second African Nations Cup crown following a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Ghana after extra-time had failed to produce a goal 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 shoot-out 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 dramatic 9-8 success.

Barry created some controversy during the shoot-out 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.

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