Storybook: Zambia Wins Africa Cup of Nations. Oh My!

Underdogs like Hickory High, Zambia pulled off the unthinkable on Sunday, overrunning the Ivory Coast for an unbelievable penalty shootout victory and a right to hold the African Cup of Nations to the sky.

Zambia was charged and Ivory Coast’s Prem duo of Gervinho and Didier Drogba couldn’t find the netting against the stout side. It was Drogba who could have sealed in regulation, but his penalty was off-target. Gervinho’s miss during kicks opened up Zambia’s chance and subsequent conversion to win it.

It is a tearjerking final for Zambia who returned to host country Gabon almost 20 years after the plane crash which claimed the lives of their coach and 18 members of their squad.

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9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by matthewsf on 2012/02/12 at 4:13 PM

    Wow.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Crow on 2012/02/12 at 5:24 PM

    I love underdog stories. Too bad I was not able to watch this. Is there any video of the PK shootout?

    Reply

  3. Posted by dikranovich on 2012/02/12 at 6:58 PM

    zambia played a nice game against cote dvoire and had several nice chances. ivory coast was basically religated to having gervinho run at the zambian defense and usually he was disposed of the ball. gervinho did win a pk for ivory coast in regulation, but drogba sent the shot over the bar. really the foul was suspect and the contact really started outside the box, but the official gave the pk anyway.

    the pk shootout was exciting. both teams made their first five shots and ivory coast was first, so the pressure seemed to always be on zambia. the zambian keeper saved the third attempt, but was judged to have moved early. so it was 5-4 and the zambian goal keeper took the fifth shot and slotted home cooley

    the seventh attempt was gervinho and he sent it wide, high, and to the right. zambia amazingly missed their seventh shot also and kolo toure stepped up and hit a weak shot which was saved and the next zambian struck home for the win.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Jeff on 2012/02/13 at 1:46 AM

    The Zambian coach carrying their injured player to the team celebration:

    Reply

  5. Posted by evan on 2012/02/13 at 10:52 AM

    whatthehell happened to Drogba there? i’m always amazed when a world class player can’t get a PK on target. no shame if the keeper saves it but at least get it on goal…

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/02/13 at 1:04 PM

      I saw the highlights and when I saw Drogba’s penalty, I could hear my old coach saying “keep your knee over the ball, son”…

      I tend to agree with you Evan, especially when it is somewhat wildly taken. Trying to execute a penalty into the top corner is questionabe, especially if you consider the enormous pressure he was under- and prssure you cannot replicate in training. It’s such a low percentage (risky) kick but almost impossible for the keeper to save even if they guess right and early.

      Reply

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