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Cote d'Ivoire Crowned AFCON Champions

Africa Cup of Nations Final
 
Result: Cote d'Ivoire (9) 0-0 (8) Ghana
 
Date: 08 February 2015
 
Venue: Estadio de Bata
 
Cote d'Ivoire were crowned Africa Cup of Nations champions after defeating Ghana 9-8 in a penalty shootout.
 
 
The opening exchanges proved to be a cagey affair, with both sides not shy of putting in a tackle, most notably Cote d'Ivoire's Serey Die.
 
The Elephants showed more attacking intent in the first half and produced the first effort on target in the 13th minute, as Yaya Toure's free-kick was saved by Braimah.
 
The Ivorians were presented with another chance minutes later, as Max Gradel collected a pass from Gervinho before firing horribly wide from close range.
 
Ghana were quite content to sit back and let Cote d'Ivoire have the ball but they almost went ahead in the 25th minute, as Christian Atsu struck the upright with a powerful effort from distance.
 
Gervinho had looked like Cote d'Ivoire's biggest threat in the opening 45 minutes, shifting from flank to flank and kept things ticking in the final third.
 
The opening 20 minutes of the second half continued in the same fashion as the first stanza, although it was the Black Stars who were restricted to  numerous long range efforts.
 
Neither side could break the deadlock in the closing stages of regulation time, as both nations struggled to create any openings and the game went in to extra time.
 
It was more of the same in extra time, and despite the introduction of Ghana's Jordan Ayew, the score remained goalless after 120 minutes of play.
 
But it was the Elephants who held their nerve in the penalty shootout, as goalkeeper Boubacar Barry scored the winning penalty to clinch the Afcon title.
 
Here's how they lined up:
 
Cote d'Ivoire:  Barry, Aurier, Tiene, K. Toure, Bailly, Kanon, S.Die, Gradel, Y. Toure, Bony, Gervinho
 
Ghana: Braimah, Afful, Rahman, Mensah, Boye, Wakaso, Acquah, Ayew, Atsu, Gyan, Appiah
 
 
 

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