FIFA president Sepp Blatter (C) gives a gift to Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba (R), surronded by Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema (C-back), Confederation of African Football's (CAF) president Issa Hayatou (L) and Benin's President Thomas Yayi Boni (R - back) before the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN 2012) final football match between Ivory Coast and Zambia at the stade de l'amitie in Libreville on February 12, 2012. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Zambia have won their first Africa Cup of Nations title by beating favourites Ivory Coast 8-7
in a penalty shoot-out after the game in Libreville ended goalless.
Stoppila Sunzu scored the winning goal for Zambia after goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene saved Kolo Toure’s spot-kick and Gervinho blasted over.
Zambia's captain Christopher Katongo kisses the African Cup of Nations trophy as Gabon President Ali Bongo, right, applauds, after Zambia beat Ivory Coast in the tournament final soccer match at Stade de l'Amitie in Libreville, Gabon Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Rainford Kalaba missed for the Zambians.
Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba missed a penalty for his side in the 70th minute when he side-footed the ball over the cross-bar.
Zambia's players Emmanuel Mayuka, center left, Francis Kasonde, center, and Davies Nkausu, center right, celebrate winning the African Cup of Nations after beating Ivory Coast in the tournament final soccer match at Stade de l'Amitie in Libreville, Gabon Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Zambia dominated the game and should have scored in regulation time but failed to make the most of their chances, with Ivorian goalkeeper Boubacar Barry pulling off a number of excellent saves.
In the penalty shoot-out it was Zambian goalkeeper Mweene who was the hero for his side as he not only saved one penalty, he also scored the fifth for his side.
Zambia's players celebrate their victory against Ivory Coast in their African Nations Cup final soccer match at the Stade De L'Amitie Stadium in Libreville February 12, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh (GABON - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)
The Ivorians are the first team not to win the competition even though they did not concede a single goal. They also lost the 2006 final against Egypt on penalties.
Zambia’s first African title came, poignantly, in the same city where 18 Zambian internationals died in a plane crash in 1993 in the country’s worst sporting disaster.