Ivory Coast vs Zambia Africa Cup of Nations Final
The final of the Africa Cup of Nations between Ivory Coast and Zambia takes place at the Stade d’Angondjé in Libreville, Gabon on February 12th 2012. Ivory Coast will be going for their second Africa Cup of Nations trophy while Zambia will be hoping to win the prestigious event for the first time. Ivory Coast was one of the pre-tournament favourites due to the presence of several English Premier League stars in the team, such as Kolo Toure, Yaya Toure, Tiote, Solomon Kalou, Didier Drogba, and Gervinho.
Ivory Coast hasn’t won the event for 20 years and they’d definitely like to put an end to their drought. Zambia has come close on a couple of occasions, but they fell just short in both 1974 and again 20 years later in 1994 when they finished as runners up. However, Ivory Coast has the edge in this, the 28th version of the tournament, and hasn’t lost a game in it yet. In fact, they haven’t even let a goal in during their five straight wins.
Zambia has been a pleasant surprise and has made it to the final on the strength of four wins and a draw with wins over Ghana and Senegal. Surprisingly, there are no injuries or suspensions to report for either team and both managers will have a full squad to choose from.
If Ivory Coast wins, Francis Zahoui will be the first local manager to guide his team to the trophy without losing a game. Skipper Didier Drogba has three goals in the tournament so far, which is tied for the lead with Zambia’s Emmanuel Mayuka and Christopher Katongo.
Zambia has been the Cinderella team of the tournament so far, but they’re in for their toughest test against the skill of Ivory Coast. They need to score an early goal to break down their opponents’ confidence. If they can score first they’ll realize that Ivory Coast is beatable. However, it’s easier said than done.
Ivory Coast v Zambia Betting Predictions
If Ivory Coast manages to take a lead it’s going to be hard for Zambia to break them down and get back in the match. With all of the tournament’s leading goals corers playing in this game we could see a few goals. But when the final whistle blows it’ll likely be Ivory Coast hoisting their second Africa Cup of Nations and fist since 1992, into the air amid the celebrations.
The latest odds offered by sportsbook William Hill have a Zambia win at 9/2, an Ivory Coast victory at 8/15 and a 90-minute draw at 5/2.