Zambia won their first African Cup of Nations title as Ivory Coast lost a penalty shoot-out for the second time in recent history, after Didier Drogba missed a spot-kick in normal time.
After a goalless draw in Libreville - during which Drogba cannoned over from 12 yards - Stophira Sunzu netted the winning penalty in an 8-7 shoot-out triumph after Premier League duo Kolo Toure and Gervinho missed theirs.
It is heartbreaking for the Elephants, widely regarded as having the best set of players in Africa but constantly unable to translate their personnel advantage into silverware.
They lost the 2006 final to Egypt in similar circumstances, and with Drogba missing then there appears to be a mental problem in the biggest games.
The irony is that Ivory Coast were excellent throughout the tournament: aside from the shoot-out, they did not concede a goal in six matches and become the first side to do so without winning the tournament. It is now 20 years since their only success in the competition when they won it in Senegal in 1992.
But Zambia’s victory is in keeping with the upset theme of these finals, co-hosted by minnows Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, who both surprisingly reached the knockout stages: traditional heavyweights Egypt, Nigeria andCameroon did not qualify; Senegal, Morocco and joint-favourites Ghana all fell to so-called inferior opposition. EUROSPORT.COM