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Zambia vs Ivory Coast 2012 Full Match: Relive the Drama and Emotion of the Africa Cup of Nations Final


Zambia vs Ivory Coast 2012 final: How Zambia made history in Libreville




On February 12, 2012, Zambia and Ivory Coast faced each other in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, the football championship of Africa organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The match took place at the Stade d'Angondjé in Libreville, Gabon, near the spot where most of the Zambian national team died in a plane crash in 1993. In a dramatic and emotional match, Zambia won their first Africa Cup of Nations title by beating Ivory Coast 87 on penalties after a goalless draw. This article will explore how Zambia achieved this remarkable feat and what it meant for them and their opponents.


The road to the final




Zambia were considered underdogs in the tournament, having never won the Africa Cup of Nations before and having only reached the final twice, in 1974 and 1994. They were drawn in Group A with co-hosts Equatorial Guinea, Libya and Senegal. They started their campaign with a surprising 21 win over Senegal, who were one of the favorites to win the tournament. They then drew 22 with Libya before securing their place in the quarterfinals with a 10 win over Equatorial Guinea. In the knockout stage, they faced Sudan in the quarterfinals and won 30 with goals from Stophira Sunzu, Christopher Katongo and James Chamanga. In the semifinals, they met Ghana, another strong contender for the title. Zambia stunned Ghana with a 10 victory thanks to a late goal from Emmanuel Mayuka. Both Katongo and Mayuka scored three goals each in the first five matches to help Zambia reach the final.




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Ivory Coast were widely regarded as the best team in Africa and one of the favorites to win the tournament. They had a star-studded squad featuring players like Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Gervinho and Kolo Toure. They had reached two previous finals, winning in 1992 and losing in 2006. They were drawn in Group B with Sudan, Burkina Faso and Angola. They breezed through their group stage with three wins out of three, scoring five goals and conceding none. They beat Sudan 10, Burkina Faso 20 and Angola 20. In the quarterfinals, they faced co-hosts Equatorial Guinea and won 30 with goals from Drogba, Yaya Toure and Salomon Kalou. In the semifinals, they faced Mali and won 10 with a goal from Gervinho in first-half stoppage time. Drogba also scored three goals in the first five matches to lead his team to the final.


The match details




The final was played on February 12, 2012 at the Stade d'Angondjé in Libreville, Gabon. The kickoff time was delayed by 30 minutes to 20:30 due to heavy rain. The referee was Badara Diatta from Senegal. The weather was mostly cloudy with a temperature of 25 C (77 F). The match was watched by an estimated crowd of 40,000 people.


The match was a tense and tight affair with few clear chances for either side. Zambia started brightly and almost scored in the second minute when Nathan Sinkala's low shot was saved by Ivory Coast goalkeeper Boubacar Barry. Ivory Coast had their first chance in the 30 minute when Drogba headed over from a corner. Zambia had another chance in the 39th minute when Rainford Kalaba's shot was parried by Barry and Katongo's follow-up was blocked by Souleymane Bamba. The first half ended 00 with Zambia having more possession and shots on target.


The second half was more balanced and both teams had opportunities to break the deadlock. In the 53rd minute, Ivory Coast's Cheick Tioté had a long-range shot that was saved by Kennedy Mweene. In the 58th minute, Zambia's Isaac Chansa had a header that went wide from a free kick. In the 69th minute, Ivory Coast were awarded a penalty after Hichani Himoonde fouled Gervinho in the box. Drogba stepped up to take the spot kick but he skied it over the bar, wasting a golden chance to give his team the lead. In the 77th minute, Zambia's Felix Katongo had a shot that was saved by Barry. In the 85th minute, Ivory Coast's Max Gradel had a shot that was tipped over by Mweene. The second half also ended 00 and the match went into extra time.


In extra time, both teams looked tired and cautious and did not create many clear chances. In the 94th minute, Zambia's Mayuka had a shot that was saved by Barry. In the 101st minute, Ivory Coast's Wilfried Bony had a header that was saved by Mweene. In the 108th minute, Zambia's Kalaba had a shot that was saved by Barry. In the 117th minute, Ivory Coast's Didier Ya Konan had a shot that was blocked by Mweene. The extra time ended 00 and the match went into a penalty shootout.


The penalty shootout




The penalty shootout was one of the most dramatic and nerve-wracking in football history. It lasted for 18 kicks and went to sudden death. Both teams missed two of their first five kicks, with Kalaba and Sinkala missing for Zambia and Kolo Toure and Gervinho missing for Ivory Coast. The score was 44 after five kicks each and the shootout continued with one kick each until one team missed and the other scored. The next six kicks were all scored, with Chansa, Mayuka, Himoonde, Musonda, Sunzu and Nkausu scoring for Zambia and Bamba, Gradel, Bony, Tiote, Gosso and Ya Konan scoring for Ivory Coast. The score was 1010 after 11 kicks each and the shootout entered its final round. Zambia's goalkeeper Mweene stepped up to take his kick and he scored with a confident strike into the bottom corner. Ivory Coast's goalkeeper Barry then had to score to keep his team in the game. He took his kick but he hit the post and the ball bounced out. Zambia had won the shootout 87 and became the champions of Africa.


The aftermath




The Zambian players and staff erupted in joy and disbelief as they celebrated their historic victory. They ran towards their fans and hugged each other in tears. They dedicated their triumph to their fallen heroes who died in the plane crash near Libreville in 1993. They also paid tribute to their coach Hervé Renard, who masterminded their success with his tactical acumen and motivational skills. They lifted the trophy amid fireworks and confetti and sang their national anthem with pride.


The Ivory Coast players and staff were devastated by their defeat. They collapsed on the pitch and consoled each other in sorrow. They had missed another chance to win their second Africa Cup of Nations title after losing in the final in 2006. They also felt sorry for their captain Drogba, who had missed a crucial penalty in both finals. They applauded their fans and congratulated their opponents with respect.


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The match was widely hailed as one of the most memorable and emotional finals in football history. It was also seen as a symbol of hope and resilience for Zambia, a country that had suffered from poverty, disease and conflict. It was also seen as a lesson of humility and sportsmanship for Ivory Coast, a country that had been plagued by civil war and political instability.


Conclusion




Zambia vs Ivory Coast 2012 final was more than just a football match. It was a story of passion, courage, destiny and drama. It was a story of


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