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5 Memorable Africa Cup of Nations Finals

5 memorable Africa Cup of Nations finals

There have been 28 Africa Cup of Nations finals and AFP Sport selects five of the most memorable:

1962 — Ethiopia 4 Egypt 2

The Cup of Nations final with the most goals, and plenty of excitement as hosts Ethiopia equalised twice against title-holders Egypt before scoring two extra-time goals. Mengistu Worku was the Ethiopian hero before a 30,000 crowd crammed into the Haile Selassie Stadium in Addis Ababa. He scored the second regular-time leveller with six minutes left and the title-clinching fourth goal after 118 minutes.

1972 — Congo Brazzaville 3 Mali 2

Congo scored three goals in seven minutes either side of the hour mark to turn the tide irrevocably in their favour at the Stade Omnipsorts in Yaounde. Mali led 1-0 at half-time in a clash of first-time finalists watched by a 40,000 crowd before Jean-Michel M’Bono equalised and scored again two minutes later. Rattled Mali fell further behind after a goal by Francois M’Pele, who was voted the outstanding player of the first Cup of Nations staged in central Africa.

1994 — Nigeria 2 Zambia 1

Zambia reached the final less than a year after 18 of the national squad were killed in a plane crash just off Gabon when en route to Senegal for a World Cup qualifier. The fairytale continued as Zambian Elijah Litana netted after only three minutes of a final watched by 25,000 spectators at the Stade El Menzah in Tunis. Emmanuel Amunike equalised within two minutes, however, and scored again early in the second half to give Nigeria a second success in the competition.

1996 — South Africa 2 Tunisia 0

Hosts South Africa triumphed in front of a capacity 80,000 crowd in Soweto just four years after returning from an apartheid-induced international wilderness. Then state president Nelson Mandela and the last white ruler of the country, FW de Klerk, saw Bafana Bafana (The Boys) struggle to pierce the Tunisian rearguard. Enter substitute Mark Williams to turn the tide, ending the stalemate eight minutes after coming off the bench and scoring again 120 seconds later.

2012 — Zambia 0 Ivory Coast 0 (Zambia won 8-7 on penalties)

Outsiders Zambia achieved a sensational result by defeating the Didier Drogba-captained stars of the Ivory Coast in a final that had no goals but lots of drama. Drogba blazed a regular-time penalty over and Kolo Toure and Gervinho failed to score in the shootout before Stoppila Sunzu converted the winning spot-kick. Success in Libreville had special significance for the Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) as the 1993 plane crash that killed most of the then national squad occurred just off the Gabonese coast.

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