Elephants goalkeeper Boubacar Barry saved and scored the crucial spot kicks in a dramatic 9-8 penalty shoot-out that saw Ivory Coast win their first African Cup of Nations since 1992. Barry, who appeared to be suffering from a cramp before the shoot-out, saved the penalty from his opposite number Brimah Razak, before converting himself.
Barry, 35, was not even expected to be playing in the Sunday night's African Cup of Nations final. He was on a bench for most of the tournament and only stepped in because the Elephants' younger keeper Sylvam Gbohouo got injured in the semi-final. This was Barry's second appearance in the Cup of Nations, having been in goal in the dramatic 2012 final against Zambia, when Ivory Coast lost on penalties 8 -7.
Victory gave the Ivorians only their second ever African Cup of Nations title. This was a repeat of the 1992 final when Ivory Coast played Ghana and another dramatic penalty shoot-out ended 11-10.
Ghana were unlucky to lose, as they were the better team over the two hours, and had chances to win the game and came close hitting the woodwork twice. But nothing materialised for the Black Stars. After a goalless 120 minutes, Ghana looked as though it was perhaps their chance to end their 33-year wait for a fifth title, as Ivory Coast's Wilfried Bony and Tallo missed their first two spot kicks. However, Ghana's next two takers, Afriyie Acquah and Frank Acheampong, both missed and the Elephants were back on level terms. Every outfield player had now taken a penalty, and it was Barry's turn to become the hero of the night and end his country's 23 year wait for the trophy.
An extremely disappointing display in Bata hardly threw up any real chances and the only excitement of the night came when Ghana's John Boye and Ivory Coast's Eric Bailly appeared to headbutt each other but both escaped punishment. It was in fact the big stars of the best European leagues that failed to produce moments of quality that were expected before the match, with Ivory Coast's Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony, as well as Ghana's Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan, under-performing on the night.
Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard's success makes him the first to win the African Cup of Nations title with two different countries, after he led Zambia to the 2012 trophy. Ghana's coach Avram Grant has now lost out in dramatic penalty shoot-out in two major finals the other one being the 2008 Champions League final where he lost to Manchester United as Chelsea boss. #Football