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The continental showpiece has been entertaining throughout, with a number of beautiful goals scored by stars of the African game

SPECIAL
By Peter Pedroncelli | Africa Football Editor

The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations has come to an end, with Zambia crowned as champions of the continent following their victory over Cote d'Ivoire in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out that ended 8-7 in favour of the Chipolopolo after a goalless 120 minutes of play.

With 32 games played throughout the Afcon, a number of goals stood out as special not only because of their significance within a specific match, but also for the pure skill and technical ability shown by the player who scored.

The tournament having concluded, this seems to be the ideal moment in which to reflect on the best goals scored during the past three weeks in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Goal.com presents a countdown of the top five goals of the 2012 Afcon.

5. SEYDOU KEITA (Mali 2-1 Botswana)
The Barcelona midfielder was at his best for the Eagles during the tournament, and he even scored, which is not a frequent occurrence in his role as a defensive midfielder. The goal was a well-worked team move with smooth passing that led to his strike from outside the area, which proved to be the winner for Mali against the Zebras.

The goal served to send the Eagles into the quarter-finals of the Afcon, where they went on to face co-hosts Gabon.

4. EMMANUEL AGYEMANG-BADU (Ghana 1-1 Guinea)

The Udinese player is a very hard worker and a technically gifted individual, but he made the goal he scored to put the Black Stars in the lead against Guinea in the final group stage match look so easy.

Against the run of play, midfielder Agyemang-Badu fired a cracker into the back of the net after good work from Andre Ayew, as his pass to Kwadwo Asamoah was tipped to Agyemang-Badu who flicked the ball up and hammered it past Naby-Moussa Yattara in the Guinean goal.

3. GERVINHO (Cote d'Ivoire 1-0 Mali)

The Elephants star settled the semi-final against Mali with a piece of magic that proved enough to see his side qualify for the Afcon final.

Cote d'Ivoire ended the first period against Mali in the best possible way. The Arsenal ace collected the ball in his own half, showing incredible pace, skill and control to run half the length of the pitch before beating Eagles keeper Diakite on his far post and slotting in the goal with a piece of fine finishing.

2. BRUNO ZITA MBANANGOYE (Gabon 3-2 Morocco)

Mbanangoye was one of the heroes for the co-hosts when they took on tournament dark horses Morocco in the group stages. The match proved to be one of the best out of the 32 that were played, and in fairytale fashion an injury time winner from a stunning free kick settled the five-goal encounter.

Mbanangoye sparked a Gabonese outpouring of joy with a curling freekick past keeper Lamyaghari and into the back of the net, allowing the Panthers to progress to the quarter-finals.

1. YAYA TOURE (Cote d'Ivoire 3-0 Equatorial Guinea)

African Player of the Year Yaya Toure is responsible for the best goal at the 2012 Afcon, with a sublime freekick to cap off a fine 3-0 victory against co-hosts Equatorial Guinea in the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Following two goals from captain Didier Drogba, Toure stole the show with a perfectly-placed freekick that would have been virtually impossible for the most agile and experienced of goalkeepers to save, the powerful strike crashing off the inside of the post and into the top corner of the goal.


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