My Hero of the African cup of nations is the surprise package, Ivorian veteran goal keeper Boubacar Barry. His delay tactics, games-man-ship and heroism brought some fans to tears. However, after the whole emotional occasion was over, Barry spoke to Euro Sports and said “We knew we had to win, and I did all the tactics to win for the father land“. What will you do for the fatherland?
Below is AFP reports:
Bata (Equatorial Guinea) (AFP) – Goalkeeper Boubacar Barry scored the decisive goal as Ivory Coast ended a 23-year Africa Cup of Nations title drought by winning 9-8 on penalties after the final ended 0-0 following extra time.
Before netting, veteran Barry had set up the match-winning chance by diving to his left and pushing away a spot-kick from Ghana goalkeeper Razak Braimah.
Ivory Coast triumphed despite making a disastrous start to the 22-penalty climax with the first kick from Wilfried Bony hitting the crossbar and Junior Tallo firing the second spot kick wide.
History repeated itself as the only other Ivorian Cup of Nations title came in 1992 when they edged the Ghanaians, also on penalties after a goalless draw.
It was a highly tactical and cagey finale to the biennial African football showpiece in Equatorial Guinea city Bata.
Billed as a ‘dream’ final between the west African neighbours, it became the fourth decider in the last eight to finish goalless and be settled by spot-kicks.
Ivory Coast and Ghana made one change each from the teams that started in convincing semi-final victories over the Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea respectively.
Ghana captain and star striker Asamoah Gyan passed a late fitness test on his injured hip and returned in place of semi-final scorer Jordan Ayew, a son of Black Stars legend Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew.
Ivory Coast switched goalkeepers with fit-again veteran Boubacar Barry recalled and Sylvain Gbohouo dropping to the bench after five consecutive appearances.
Equatorial Guinea president Teodoro Obiang, FIFA president Sepp Blatter and CAF president Issa Hayatou were introduced to the teams before the national anthems.
The pre-kickoff mood was extremely jovial with rival players warmly greeting each other as they went through the traditional shaking of hands.