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African Cup Of Nations
Zambia crowned African champions: Final 2012 African Cup Of Nations Tags: 2012 African Cup Of Nations Ivory Coast News Zambia News 2012 African Cup Of Nations Scores News African Sport Football
Zambia conjured up a shock when they toppled star-studded Ivory Coast 8-7 in a penalty shoot-out to claim their first ever Africa Cup of Nations title on Sunday. 

With the sides goalless after extra time Zambia's Stoppila Sunzu converted the magic spot kick after Arsenal striker Gervinho missed for the Elephants. Drogba missed a penalty in the 70th minute when he shot the ball over the bar, The Ivorians got the penalty after Gervinho was brought down.

VIDEO: Zambia Wins Ivory Coast 8 to 7 In Penalties: Full Video

Penalties Zambia 8 - 7 ivory coast

Zambia: Stoppila Sunzu scores (8-7)
 
Ivory Coast: Gervinho wastes his effort (7-7)
 
Zambia: Rainford Kalaba wastes his effort (7-7)
 
Ivory Coast: Kolo Toure wastes his effort (7-7)
 
Zambia: Chisamba Lungu scores (7-7)
 
Ivory Coast: Didier Ya Konan scores (7-6)
 
Zambia: Nathan Sinkala scores (6-6)
 
Ivory Coast: Siaka Tiene scores (6-5)
 
Zambia: Kennedy Mweene scores (5-5)
 
Ivory Coast: Drogba scores (5-4)
 
Zambia: Felix Katongo scores (4-4)
 
Ivory Coast: Max Gradel scores (4-3)
 
Zambia: Isaac Chansa scores (3-3)
 
Ivory Coast: Souleymane Bamba scores (3-2)
 
Zambia: Emmanuel Mayuka scores (2-2)
 
Ivory Coast: Wilfried Boni scores (2-1)
 
Zambia: Chris Katongo scores (1-1)
 
Ivory Coast: Cheick Tiote scores (1-0)
 
Zambia Celebrates Team Wins Over Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui named an unchanged side.
 
The result meant misery for hot favourites Ivory Coast, who failed to claim the title despite not conceding a goal throughout the entire competition until Sunday's shootout.
 
It also revived memories for Didier Drogba, who missed a penalty in the second half of normal time, and company of their 2006 penalty shoot out final defeat to Egypt in Cairo.
 
Zambia, motivated by the memory of the 1993 national team wiped out in a plane crash off the Libreville coast, went into the 2012 climax as outsiders.
 
But they covered themselves with glory, hassling and harrowing their star-studded rivals all the way to the penalty shoot-out, and then holding their nerve to prevail in the dramatic, barely watchable denouement.
 
Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui fielded the same side that saw off Mali 1-0 in the semifinal.
 
His Zambian counterpart, Herve Renard, recalled striker Emmanuel Mayuka, after his starring role in getting the decisive goal in the 1-0 last four defeat over Ghana.
 
He joined captain Christopher Katongo in spearheading the Chipolopolo's (Copper Bullets) attack.
 
Russian-based midfielder Chisamba Lungu came in for Francis Kasonde.
 
A minute of silence was observed before kick-off in memory of the 74 people killed in the Port Said stadium slaughter in Egypt.
 
The game was only seconds old when Zambia almost took a shock lead, with keeper Boubacar Barry doing well to save Nathan Sinkala's close range shot off Katongo's quick pass from a Rainford Kalaba corner.
 
Renard was forced into an unscripted change when defender Joseph Musonda limped off in tears on 11 minutes - Nyambe Mulenga took his place.
 
A shaky start by Ivory Coast gave Zambia hope of an upset and Kalaba's 30m freekick wasn't far away after taking a deflection off Cheik Tiote's leg.
 
The Elephants put together their best passage of play approaching the half hour mark, a neat Drogba backheel setting up Yaya Toure only for the Manchester City midfielder's angled shot to go wide of the far post.
 
A hugely promising first half from Zambia had the Elephants' defence, marshalled by Kolo Toure, under more pressure than they would have wanted, with Katongo leading from the front.
 
Zahoui, ressembling a New York cop with black trenchcoat and baseball cap, walked into the dressing rooms at halftime with a face like thunder.
 
The second half began with a deathly hush descending on the stadium - the final in desperate need of the kiss of life in the guise of a goal.
 
And on 72 minutes one should have come after Ivory Coast were awarded a penalty when Issac Chansa and Mulenga barged into Gervinho.
 
Drogba stepped up but his woeful attempt went soaring into the night sky, even though he appeared to divert blame to the pitch, glaring at the spot.
 
This was his second miss from the spot after he had a penalty saved in the quarterfinal win over Equatorial Guinea, where he went on to score twice.
 
One minute later Max Gradel's shot from the box had Zambia keeper Kennedy Mweene beaten, but it rolled wide of the far post.
 
In the 95th minute, substitute Felix Katongo crossed from the right for his brother Christopher with only Barry's toe diverting the goalbound ball off the near post.
 
There was high drama once the penalty shoot out got underway, with Kolo Toure missing the Ivorians seventh penalty, but Zambia's Kalaba also missing his to leave the sides still inseparable.
 
Then after Gervinho failed in his attempt it was left to Sunzu, the defender who plays his club football in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to give Zambia a historic first title, and consign Ivory Coast to another wretched defeat.
 
Ivory Coast 0 Zambia 0 - aet
Zambia win 8-7 on penalties
 
Tiote 1-0, C. Katongo 1-1, Bony 2-1, Mayuka 2-2, Bamba (retake) 3-2, Chansa 3-3, Gradel 4-3, F. Katongo 4-4, Drogba 5-4, Mweene 5-5, Tiene 6-5, Sinkala 6-6, Ya Konan 7-6, Lungu 7-7, K. Toure saved 7-7, Kalaba missed 7-7, Gervinho missed 7-7, Sunzu 7-8
 
Teams
 
Zambia: Kennedy Mweene, Joseph Musonda (Nyambe Mulenga 12, Felix Katongo 74), Stoppila Sunzu, Hichani Himoonde, Davies Nkausu, Nathan Sinkala, Chisamba Lungu, Isaac Chansa, Christopher Katongo (capt), Rainford Kalaba, Emmanuel Mayuka
 
Coach: Herve Renard (FRA)
 
Ivory Coast: Boubacar Barry, Siaka Tiene, Kolo Toure, Souleymane Bamba, Jean-Jacques Gosso, Cheik Tiote, Didier Zokora (Didier Ya Konan 75), Yaya Toure (Wilfried Bony 87), Salomon Kalou (Max Gradel 63), Didier Drogba (capt), Gervinho
 
Coach: Francois Zahoui
 
Yellow cards: Tiote 63, Bamba 66, Mulenga 69
 
Referee: Badara Diatta (SEN)

Source: BeeAfrican | Supersport

 

Final Ivory Coast Against Zambia On February 13: 2012 African Cup Of Nations Tags: 2012 African Cup Of Nations Ivory Coast News Zambia News African Sport Football
BATA, Equatorial Guinea (AP) — Zambia reached the African Cup of Nations final for the first time since 1994, upsetting Ghana 1-0 Wednesday night to advance to the championship against tournament favorite Ivory Coast.
 
Emmanuel Mayuka scored in the 78th minute for Zambia, tied for 71st in the FIFA rankings.
 
Later at Libreville, Gabon, Ivory Coast defeated Mali 1-0 on a 45th-minute goal by Arsenal forward Gervinho.
 
Sunday's final will be at Libreville, the site of Zambia's worst sporting disaster in 1993. A plane carrying Zambia's national team to a World Cup qualifier in Senegal crashed just minutes after taking off, killing 25 players and officials.
 
"There's something written that we have to go to play to honor the memories of the Zambia national team that died in 1993," said Frenchman Herve Renard, Zambia's coach. "It was catastrophic for the nation. The 12 million people of Zambia are waiting for us to go back to Libreville. Immediately (after) we arrive, we will go to the place. We just have to think of them and play for them and play for Zambia because it's a fantastic country."
 
Ghana, which beat the United States en route to the 2010 World Cup quarterfinals, could have gone ahead in the eighth minute, but Asamoah Gyan's penalty kick was saved by goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene. In the World Cup quarterfinals against Uruguay two years ago, Gyan's penalty kick in overtime went off the crossbar, and the Black Stars were eliminated in a shootout.
 
Mayuka entered for the Copper Bullets at the start of the second half. No. 26 Ghana finished a man short after Derek Boateng was ejected in the 84th.
 
"This is the greatest moment ever a player can have to play in the final," Zambia captain Christopher Katongo said. "We go to the final without any pressure. We have to take this cup. This is an opportunity. It doesn't come every day."
 
At Libreville, 18th-ranked Ivory Coast went ahead when Gervinho capitalized on a defensive error to race half the length of the field and shoot past goalkeeper Soumaila Diakite.
 
Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure both hit posts as Ivory Coast dominated No. 69 Mali to reach the final without conceding a goal at the tournament. Les Elephants are seeking their first title since 1992.
 
Source: AP
Ivory Coast 1 vs 0 Mali: Semifinals 2012 African Nations Cup Tags: 2012 African Cup Of Nations Ivory Coast News Mali News 2012 African Cup Of Nations Scores News African Sport Football
A contender for the goal of the competition from Arsenal striker Gervinho against Mali on Wednesday put Ivory Coast into the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Gervinho's solo moment of brilliance deep into the first half gave the Elephants' a 1-0 win and left them on a collision course with Zambia, shock winners over Ghana in the day's other semifinal.

The pair meet back at Libreville's L'Amitie stadium on Sunday.
 
For the Ivorians this will be their first appearance in the Nations Cup climax since they were beaten by Egypt in Cairo in 2006.
 
 
 
They are seeking their second continental title after a lone success 20 years ago.
 
Mali had struggled manfully to keep the orange tide at bay in a frenetic first half, until Gervinho made his mark with a little help from some slack defending.
 
Depriving Mali back Ousmane Berthe of the ball bang on the halfway line the Gunners star scampered hare-like down the left wing, leaving Malian pursuers in his wake to shoot right-footed past Soumaila Diakite and into the far corner.
 
The Eagles coach Alain Giresse pounded the dug out with his fist in frustration.
 
The Ivorians went into this semifinal looking to avoid the same fate as Ghana, the Black Stars having been knocked out by so-called minnows Zambia across the border in Bata earlier.
 
The hot favourites switched three from Saturday's last eight win over Equatorial Guinea - Salomon Kalou, Cheik Tiote and PSG's Siaka Tiene in for Arthur Boka, Kafoumba Coulibaly and Max Gradel.
 
Mali made two changes from the side that won Sunday's stamina-sapping quarterfinal against Gabon, with French-based forwards Cheick Tidiane Diabate and Moustapha Yattabare on for injured duo Abdou Traore and Modibo Maiga.
 
With Pele among the crowd at the three-quarters full 40 000-seater stadium Didier Drogba almost put the Elephants into a fifth minute lead when hitting the cross bar.
 
Berthe was booked seconds later and keeper Diakite had to look sharp to punch away the resulting freekick taken by the Ivorian skipper.
 
Ivory Coast could have been two up inside the opening quarter of an hour but Yaya Toure followed his captain's lead by also hitting a bar, the right post this time, after being set up by Salomon Kalou.
 
Down at the other end Ivorian midfielder Jean-Jacques Gosso had his work cut out to stop Diabate's charge in the box.
 
Drogba was then off target when he dragged his angled shot from the right after getting the better of his Mali markers Berthe and Drissa Diakite when he ran on to a long ball into the area.
 
In the last minute before the break Gervinho struck to put his team into a deserved lead.
 
Mali came out for the second half with an unenviable task - to become the first team at the tournament to score against Drogba and company.
 
But only Diakite's fingernails prevented them falling further behind around the hour when the Mali keeper diverted Kalou's shoot over the crossbar.
 
Yatabare had Mali's best chance in the 72nd minute, his attempt from the right narrowly going over Boubacar Barry's bar.
 
But the Ivorians held firm to march on while Mali made an honourable exit.
 
Source: AFP

 

Ghana 2 vs 1 Tunisia : Quarterfinals 2012 African Cup Of Nations Tags: 2012 African Cup Of Nations Ghana News Tunisia News 2012 African Cup Of Nations Scores African Sport Football
Ghana continued their march to a fifth Africa Cup of Nations title with a 2-1 extra time win over Tunisia in the quarterfinals here Sunday. The Black Stars will on Wednesday battle Zambia in Bata to determine who plays in the final against the winners of the other semifinal between the Ivory Coast and Mali.

Skipper John Mensah opened the scoring for Ghana in the 10th minute, when he headed home at the near post off a corner from the left.

The 29-year-old Lyon defender was a doubt for this game as he was nursing a thigh muscle injury, but he passed a late fitness test to score his second goal of the tournament.
 
 
 
Tunisia drew level in the 42nd minute through Evian striker Sabeur Khalifa when he headed bravely past Ghana goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey off a clever cross by Zouhaier Dhaouadi from the right flank.
 
Ghana regained the lead in the 101th minute after Tunisia goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi dropped a harmless-looking cross for Andre Ayew to roll home from five yards out.
 
Toulouse centre half Aymen Abdennour was sent off in the 108th minute for an elbow on goal scorer Ayew to reduce Tunisia to 10 men.
 
It was a mostly cautious start by both teams as attack swung from both ends of the pitch in the early minutes, before Ghana took the lead.
 
In the 17th minute, Badu’s flicked header missed narrowly off yet another corner as Ghana were quicker to settle down in this encounter.
 
They dictated proceedings in the first half hour as Tunisia struggled to find a rhythm and their attacking play was disjointed.
 
However, the 2004 champions soon after began to force issues as half time approached with Jamel Saihi firing a decent shot at the Ghana goal in the 38th minute.
 
Their more positive approach will earn them the equaliser three minutes from the break to set the tone for the second half.
 
On 70 minutes Tunisia dangerman Youssef Msakni’s shot was deflected for a corner by defender Isaac Vorsah.
 
Andre Ayew’s corner was sailing directly into the net a minute later before Mathlouthi scrambled it away for another corner.
 
And soon after the Marseille forward saw his header sail over the bar as he out jumped the entire Tunisia defence.
 
Ghana piled on more pressure for Kwadwo Asamoah to set up Gyan, whose low volley from point-blank range in the 75th minute was blocked by a diving Mathlouthi.
 
Moments later, substitute Jordan Ayew also ran at the Tunisia defence before he released a low shot, which the Tunisia goalkeeper saved at first attempt.
 
In the 85th minute, Brest new signing Issam Jemaa fired from distance, but Kwarasey was equal to the task as he produces a fine save.
 
At the start of extra-time, Jemaa found the back of the net but his effort was disallowed for off side.
 
Mathlouthi then saved a one-on-one situation against Jordan Ayew before Msakni’s tap right inside the box missed the Ghana goal narrowly in additional time of extra time.
 
In second half extra time, Andre Ayew again came close, before Tunisia launched a late rally that failed to yield any rewards.
 
Source: Supersport

 

Ghana through after 1-1 draw with Guinea: 2012 African Cup Of Nations Tags: 2012 African Cup Of Nations Ghana News Guinea News 2012 African Cup Of Nations Scores African Sport Football
Ghana sealed their place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals with a 1-1 draw against Guinea in Franceville. Emmanuel Agyemang Badu put the Black Stars ahead, smashing a fierce volley in from the edge of the area. Abdoul Razzagui Camara equalised right on half-time, with what looked like a cross from the left-wing sailing right into Ghana's goal.

Guinea chased a winner to no avail, but Mali's 2-1 win over Botswana saw the Malians through and Guinea go out. The tournament's final pair of group games were finely poised at the beginning of the night, with Ghana, Guinea and Mali all in with a good shout of progressing from Group D.
 
 
 
And Guinea started the brighter in Franceville, putting the Black Stars under pressure, but unable to create any clear early chances.
 
“We didn't want to get into a situation of problems. It was just important that we qualified for the next stage.” Ghana assistant coach Kwesi Appiah
 
The Guineans had the ball in the back of the net first, but Ibrahima Traore was adjudged just offside, after getting in behind the Ghana defence and nut-megging Adam Kwarasey in the Black Stars goal.
Almost immediately, Ghana responded with the opener and a major contender for goal of the tournament.
 
Badu calmly collected the ball on the right edge of the Guinea area, before flicking it up with his left and hammering it into the top corner with his right.
It was Ghana's first real clear-cut chance of the game, and they happily slotted back into their comfort zone in its wake, happy to soak up Guinea's pressure.
 
The Syli Nationale duly obliged, earning a series of corners that put Kwarasey under real pressure, but the Ghana goalkeeper showed much more composure than he did in Botswana's 2-0 win over Mali, punching several Guinean crosses away well.
 
Guinea then almost handed Ghana a second, after confusion between their defence and goalkeeper Naby Yattara allowed Asamoah Gyan to almost get in before the ball broke to Samuel Inkoom, who chipped just wide.
 
Ghana looked to be headed for the break in front, but Guinea got their equaliser and put themselves briefly back in contention, with a goal from nowhere, right on the half-time whistle.
 
"We all know that Ghana is a great team but it didn't need the help of the referee”Guinea coach Michel Dussuyer.
 
Camara ran down the left channel and chipped into the box at pace, before watching it sail right over Kwarasey and nestle in the net to put the sides level at the interval.
 
Guinea's Mamadou Dioulde Bah earned a suspension just after the break with a second yellow card of the tournament, and it would get worse for the Stuttgart midfielder, as he earned a second of the match and was dismissed for a trip on Kwadwo Asamoah.
 
Guinea tried to press for a second, but Ghana closed the game out well, retaining possession, and taking advantage of the extra man after Bah's dismissal.
 
The Black Stars finally took the sting out of the game and added a 1-1 draw to their two previous wins in the group to send them through, while Mali's 2-1 victory over Botswana sealed Guinea's fate.
Ghana assistant coach Kwesi Appiah paid tribute to his side for getting the result they needed to advance.
 
"We didn't want to get into a situation of problems,'' Appiah said.
"It was just important that we qualified for the next stage.
 
"At the end of the day, the most important thing is making sure you qualify.''
Guinea coach Michel Dussuyer said his players had shown a good will to win, but criticised referee Daniel Bennett for decisions made during the match, including Bah's first yellow card.
 
"We all know that Ghana is a great team but it didn't need the help of the referee,'' Dussuyer said.
 
"I am very disappointed with the performance of the referee.''
Ghana will take on Tunisia in their quarter-final in Franceville on Sunday, with Mali meeting co-hosts Gabon in Libreville.
 
Source: BBC Sport

 

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