Ivory Coast Claim Africa Cup Of Nations After Dramatic Penalty Shoot Out

Ivory Coast won their second Africa Cup Of Nations after an incredible penalty shootout victory over Ghana.

Ivory Coast’s goalkeeper, Boubacar Barry, not only saved the decisive penalty, but he then went on to score the winning set piece for his nation, too. This meant that Ivory Coast won the penalty shootout by 9-8.

Barry saved Ghana goalkeeper Brimah Razak’s penalty before he then stepped up to blast it past Razak to earn Ivory Coast victory.

This meant that Ivory Coast were able to get their hand on the Africa Cup Of Nations trophy for the second time. They previously won the competition in 1992.

Ivory Coast came close to winning the tournament back in 2006 and 2012, where they reached the final only to be defeated by Egypt and Zambia respectively.

Ivory Coast suffered a terrible start to the penalty shoot out, though. Wilfried Bony, who recently moved to Manchester City from Swansea, and Junior Tallo both missed the Ivory Coast’s first two penalties.

However, Ghana’s Afriyie Acquah and Frank Acheampang then failed to convert their penalties, which took the shoot-out to sudden death.

Barry actually looked to have suffered an injury during the penalty shoot out as he appeared to have a cramp. However, he overcame this setback to save and then score the decisive penalty.

Ghana had actually had the better of the chances during the 120 minutes that came before the penalties. Both Christian Atsu and Andre Ayew hit the woodwork for Ghana, while Ivory Coast’s star players failed to truly influence the contest.

Yaya Toure, who is widely regarded as Manchester City and Ivory Coast’s talisman, admitted that the this victory was “unbelievable.”

“When you win with your club, it’s quite amazing. With your country, it’s unbelievable.”

According to the BBC, Toure said that the main reason for Ivory Coast’s victory was their manager, Herve Renard. This was the second time that Renard had led a side to the Africa Cup Of Nations. Renard previously managed Zambia to the 2012 Africa Cup Of Nations.

“Without the manager we would have won nothing. He made things difficult for me. He told me if I didn’t run he’d kick me out. He’s fantastic.”

[Image via Golden Icons]