Zambia gain redemption to stun Ivory Coast in Africa Cup of Nations

“Zambia 0-0 Ivory Coast (Zambia win 8-7 on pens). Stopila Sunzu began Sunday as an unheralded centre-back for the Congolese side TP Mazembe. He ended it as the unlikely hero of one of the greatest stories of redemption football has ever known. As Kalusha Bwalya, the greatest Zambian footballer of all time, was engulfed by the Zambia players after their victory in a penalty shoot-out, there were tears of joy but also tears born of the knowledge that this should have been his team-mates celebrating with him.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Zambia 0-0 Ivory Coast: Zambia win the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations on penalties
“Zambia completed an astonishing victory on penalties after a tight final. Hervé Renard made the predictable but astute decision to switch to the team which ended the semi-final win over Ghana. That meant Emmanuel Mayuka starting upfront, Chisamba Lungu on the wing, and Isaac Chansa back in the centre. After plenty of rotation throughout the competition, François Zahoui went for an unchanged side from the XI which beat Mali in the semi-final. However, there was an early change for Zambia when left-back Joseph Musonda went down injured, and was replaced by Nyambe Mulenga, shown on the diagram.” Zonal Marking

Zambia’s triumph heals 19-year-old rift with Gabon over plane disaster
“Of all the extraordinary memories of the Africa Cup of Nations final, perhaps the most remarkable was the reaction of the crowd. In the aftermath of the 1993 plane crash that killed 18 Zambia players just after take-off after refuelling at Libreville, relations between Zambia and Gabon sunk to ugly lows.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

The 2012 African Cup Of Nations: The Final
“Cote D’Ivoire never had a chance. Whatever the multi-talents of their squad, the Elephants were going to struggle in this African Cup of Nations final…up against two teams. As if the Zambian side at this competition wasn’t good enough, there was the memory of their 1993 predecessors with which to contend, and the current squad’s hugely admirable determination to do justice to that memory. Arguably Zambia’s most-talented, all-but-one of the 1993 squad lost their lives in a plane crash off the Gabonese coast near capital Libreville – the venue for this year’s final – as they journeyed to a World Cup qualifier in Senegal.” twohundredpercent

Best and worst moments from the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations
“From the disappointment of Senegal, to Kily Alvarez’s goal and Ali Bongo’s wild celebration…” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Spot-kick drama secures fairytale title
“Zambia clinched their first African Nations Cup crown with a poignant penalty shoot-out win over Ivory Coast. Nineteen years after a plane crash which killed 18 members of their squad in Libreville, the Chipolopolo returned to the Gabon capital to record the most famous victory in the country’s history. A dramatic shoot-out at the end of 120 minutes of largely underwhelming football went the way of Zambia when Gervinho shot wide and Stophira Sunzu stepped up to slot home.” ESPN

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