Zambia win Africa Cup of Nations after dramatic penalty shootout
February 13, 2012 -- Updated 1802 GMT (0202 HKT)
Zambia captain Christopher Katongo holds the Africa Cup of Nations trophy aloft after his team's dramatic penalty shootout victory over Ivory Coast in Libreville, Gabon.
Glory for Zambia
United in triumph
Gone but not forgotten
Herve the hero
- Zambia win Africa Cup of Nations in Libreville
- The Copper Bullets beat Ivory Coast 8-7 on penalties
- Match had ended goalless after normal and extra time
- Didier Drogba missed penalty for Ivory Coast in second half
(CNN) -- Zambia lifted the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time after beating the Ivory Coast 8-7 in a dramatic penalty shootout in Sunday's final in Libreville.
Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba missed a penalty in the second half of regulation play as the match ended scoreless after extra time.
Both teams were successful with their first seven penalties of the shootout, including Drogba, until Manchester City defender Kolo Toure saw his effort saved by Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.
Rainford Kalaba then missed the chance to clinch the game for Zambia when he shot over.
Zambia Cup victory unites country
With the tension almost unbearable, Arsenal forward Gervinho blazed his penalty wide, and this time Zambia's Stoppila Sunzu made no mistake to give his side an emotional victory.
It was a fairytale triumph for Zambia, who returned to Gabon 19 years after the plane crash which claimed the lives of the team's coach and 18 members of their squad.
The Copper Bullets finally won Africa's top football prize after losing in two previous finals, while the favored Elephants suffered a shootout defeat again after a similar heartbreak against Egypt in 2006 -- when Drogba also missed a penalty.
Zambia's French coach Herve Renard was overjoyed. "This represents something enormous, something which appeared unrealizable before the competition began," he told AFP.
"I know we're not the best but we have a strength and force that animated our team."
I know we're not the best but we have a strength and force that animated our team.
But for Chelsea striker Drogba and his star-studded team it was a bitter disappointment after not conceding a goal in open play in their six matches in the tournament.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between in wet conditions, but Ivorian goalkeeper Boubacar Barry had to make a brilliant early save to foil Nathan Sinkala.
Drogba set up Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure for his side's best chance of the first half, but the African player of the year fired wide.
Ivory Coast's 72nd-minute penalty came after Gervinho was pushed over, but Drogba's effort never threatened the goal.
His Zambian counterpart Christopher Katongo hit the woodwork in extra time before the drama of penalties and victory for the underdogs.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.