Coach turns former foes into victors

CROWNING MOMENT: Ivory Coast's defender Kolo Toure raises the trophy as he celebrates after winning the African Cup of Nations final against Ghana in Bata at the weekend
CROWNING MOMENT: Ivory Coast’s defender Kolo Toure raises the trophy as he celebrates after winning the African Cup of Nations final against Ghana in Bata at the weekend

Herve Renard once broke Ivorian hearts at the African Nations Cup, but the French coach was hailed as their hero after his Ivory Coast team lifted the continental crown.

hey beat Ghana 9-8 in a dramatic shootout following a subdued final that finished goalless after extra time at the Estadio de Bata, to win the title after a 23-year wait.

The much-travelled Renard had heaped heartache on the Ivorians in the 2012 final under similar circumstances when Zambia, his side then, won a shootout 8-7.

Having lost two of the last three Nations Cup finals on penalties, the Ivory Coast finally triumphed in Bata, winning when Boubacar Barry saved Razak Braimah’s spot kick before the Ivorian keeper converted his penalty moments later.

Barry is a key figure in Ivory Coast’s Golden Generation, a talented bunch who helped the nation reach consecutive World Cups and made several strong showings in the Nations Cup.

But, despite the presence of the likes of Didier Drogba, the Toure brothers Yaya and Kolo, Gervinho and Salomon Kalou, they had failed to lift the African title having lost on penalties in the 2010 and 2012 finals.

-Reuters

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