Drogba ghosts return as Zambia win shootout
LIBREVILLE: Didier Drogba’s ghosts returned to haunt him as Zambia won the African Nations Cup for the first time after beating Ivory Coast 8-7 in a drama-filled penalty shootout following a 0-0 draw.
Stoppila Sunzu converted the winning penalty after three successive efforts had been missed in a long and nervy shootout that totaled 18 kicks, but the goalless match might not have had to go to the shootout had Drogba not ballooned a 70th minute penalty well wide to deny his team victory inside 90 minutes, repeating his miss in the 2006 final which the Ivorians lost to Egypt.
The loss was another near miss for the Ivorian’s golden generation, who had been expected to win African football’s top prize at the last four editions but failed every time.
Two of their English Premier League players Kolo Toure and Gervinho missed kicks in the shootout.
After winning, the Zambian team held up banners remembering their side that died in a air crash not far from the stadium in 1993 and whose memory they had honoured on the eve of the game. –Agencies