History is about to be made at the 2012 Afcon final as the Elephants eye a second trophy and aim to maintain a clean sheet while the Chipolopolo pray for their first title
N. Mulenga, Himonde, Kasonde, Musonda
Sinkala, F. Katongo
C. Katongo, Mbesuma, Chansa
Lolo, K. Toure, Bamba, Tiene
Gosso, Y. Toure, Tiote
Kalou, Drogba, Gervinho
Both teams are on the verge of making history. The Ivorians will be ending a 20-year trophy drought should they secure the title, which would be their second of the competition since its inception.
Zambia have been waiting for a long time and on two occasions – 1974 and 1994 – they were denied a chance to clinch the cup in the final, finishing as runners-up in both years.
It will be difficult to call Sunday’s final in Libreville, but it is very easy to predict a close game between two determined teams hungry for nothing less than the ultimate prize.
The Elephants have been on the rampage at the 28th edition of the continental showpiece. They have not yet lost a game in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and are yet to concede a goal. It has been torrid but well-deserved progress, however, for the Chipolopolo. They can also boast a strong record in this competition, having won four games along with one draw to reach this stage.
There are no suspensions or injury worries in either team, and any changes to the starting 11 that took part in the semi-finals on both sides are likely to be minimal.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Cote d’Ivoire beat Ghana – the same team that Zambia defeated to qualify for the final - in 1992 to claim their first ever continental trophy.
- Francis Zahoui will become the first local coach in the country to have won the Nations Cup without conceding a defeat should his side emerge as winners.
- Elephants captain Didier Drogba is one of three leading goalscorers who are still in the competition, with three strikes to his name.
- Zambia will be lifting their maiden Afcon trophy on Sunday if they beat Cote d’Ivoire.
- Among the three top goalscorers in this competition, Zambia can boast two, Christopher Katongo (pictured right) and Emmanuel Mayuka.
- The southern Africans were not tipped as pre-tournament favourites but knocked out two teams that were expected to be in their current position – Senegal and Ghana.