CHEIK Tiote’s Ivory Coast suffered an agonising African Cup of Nations final defeat last night.
The Newcastle United midfielder was in the side beaten in a penalty shoot-out by Zambia after they played out a goalless draw in Libreville, Gabon.
Tiote converted the Ivory Coast’s first penalty, but Arsenal’s Gervinho missed the decisive spot kick in a 8-7 win.
Zambia were 50/1 outsiders to win the tournament before a ball was kicked.
“This represents something enormous,” said Zambia coach Herve Renard.
“I know we’re not the best, but we have a strength and force that animated our team.”
Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui said: “We didn’t expect such challenging a final.
“This is a big disappointment for us.
“We didn’t have much luck, we missed the penalty in normal time, then perhaps lost a bit of confidence.
“We go back to Abidjan with not too much shame. I think we’ve played a good game.”