When Kalusha Bwalya endorsed Herve Renard to be the coach of Zambia, people thought he was mad but finally, those critics, me included, have now to swallow humble pie, take a deep rest and watch in disbelief as Zambia walk away with the AFCON. Ivory Coast goes home in disbelief, shell shocked and teary, having no words to explain to their country, probably blaming the gods for their predicament at this moment.
As an Ivorian, making it back to Abidjan will be a long long one. The beauty of sports is that you loose today, you win tomorrow and since the ball is round, you never know where it falls next time. For Ivory Coast, consolation is not just enough, they played well, attacked well, actually conceded no goal but just faulted at the final hurdle. Drogba joins the long lists of stars who have gone to miss crucial penalties, from the likes of Roberto Baggio, Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Asamoah Gyan just to mention but a few. What matters more importantly now is how they pick themselves up after the loss. 2013 is just 12 months away and what they have to do is to go back to the basics, forget about 2012 and look forward to South Africa with the same attitude they faced this tournament with.
At Lusaka, the party just began. Gonna go late into the night, this time I don’t know what the prostitutes will offer; only heaven’s knows. But all in all, well played, well won and a big big congratulations to Zambia. The ghosts, the ‘lucky’ shirt, blame it or thanks to anything you want, you got to envy the team spirit in the Zambian camp. I don’t understand who the man of the match turned out to be, but I think the Zambian keeper deserved it, forget his few moments of madness when he pulled a ‘you can’t see me’ on Didier when he missed the penalty. He coolly slotted his penalty home as his team triumphed 8-7 on the shootout.
From the beginning, Zambia was never my pick but they proved me wrong today, I have to admit. They have done it for their country, their people and they have been duly rewarded. Katongo and Co deserve all the plaudits and Zambia are worthy Champions. On a lighter note, who were those who danced their way with the trophy? Gabon witches dressed in Egyptian wear?