Ladies and gentlemen, the moment we’ve all been waiting for; the game played with ubiquitous percussion and constant rhythm from the stands, the final of the Cup of Nations 2012 and the biggest game in African football. There’s no doubt in my mind that we have the two best sides at the tournament in terms of the standard of performances and quality.
Zambia enchanted during the group stages, being at the forefront of the revival of the attacking flair that we associated with African football south of the Sahara in the yesteryear, Rainford Kalaba and Christopher Katongo the poster boys of the revival. Ivory Coast, meanwhile, have been playing the sort of football that is typically branded the “Hallmark of Champions” – productively efficient, conservative football (or ‘boring’ football, if you believe the decriers) and have conceded no goals so far in the tournament. Yet in their semi-final victory over Mali we saw glimpses that when the quartet of Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Yaya Toure and Gevinho are on their game, they can be a very aesthetically pleasing side indeed.