Ivory Coast win Africa Cup of Nations in penalty shootout against Ghana

Ivory Coast 0-0 Ghana (Ivory Coast win 9-8 on penalties

barry stops last penaltyCould there have been a more unlikely hero than Boubacar Barry? He was the reserve keeper, the relic of the past, the clownish figure so often blamed for Ivorian failure. Elevated to play in the final only because Sylvain Gbohouo had suffered a thigh strain, he seized his opportunity in a ridiculous, hilarious, remarkable way, saving two penalties (above he saves the last penalty from Ghana) and then scoring the decisive kick in the shootout himself (see photo below).

Barry scores penaltyThe mood was of relief rather than jubilation. “When you win with your club it’s quite amazing but with your country it’s unbelievable,” Yaya Touré said. “I’ve been waiting I don’t know how many years to lift this trophy – as captain is something special. The luck came to our side today. I’m delighted and very happy.”

ivory coast winsFor Ivory Coast this was the end of a 22-year wait that in the past nine years has become particularly acute. This was their third final in that time and, when Wilfried Bony and Junior Tallo failed with their first two penalties, they looked to be facing a third defeat. Gervinho, who missed the decisive kick three years ago but had been subbed here before the end, sat on a chair by the dugout throughout the shootout, facing away from the action.

“I’ve failed twice in a final and it was hard to take,” said Touré. “Today is fantastic. It was a great stress because of the penalties.

ivory coast wins 3

Ivory Coast’s last title came in 1992, also defeating Ghana in a penalty shootout.

This year’s tournament was held in Equatorial Guinea, which stepped in as hosts after Morocco withdrew overs fears of the spread of the Ebola virus.

Sources:

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