Kila Jisi

The Nations Cup has come and gone producing one winner out of the 16 teams that started the competition on January 17.

Ivory Coast snatched their victory from Ghana in a 9-8 penalty shoot-out following a dry 120 minutes of play in Bata thanks to goalie, Boubacar Barry, fondly called Copa Barry.

This name is now on the lips of every Ivorian and football lovers as saviour of the Elephants and the nation who broke the jinx hanging on the team for 23 years.

But before the competition he was a persona non grata, a man Cameroonians would have described as a sifter. Barry had a bad experience at the 2014 World Cup and in September at the Amadou Ahidjo Stadium during the Nations Cup qualifiers conceded four goals in the first leg.

Against DR Congo at home, Barry conceded four more goals and was replaced during the return leg against Cameroon.
During Nations Cup encounter, DR Congo-Ivory Coast, the main goalkeeper Sylvain Ghohouo had a shock, when Barry was told to warm up many fans contested saying a lame Ghohouo was better than Barry.

The goalie, who has been to the World Cup three times, was substitute for the competition only came in when the key goalkeeper Ghohouo was injured.

Even then many fans and football lovers concluded his presence sounded doom for Ivory Coast, he was insulted and called names.

The Elephants for the second time in the history of Ivorian football won the 2015 African Nations Cup, beating Ghana on penalties, after 23 years thanks to Copa Barry. History as it happened in 1992 the repeated itself.

Barry made a stronger case for his side when it was the turn of the goalkeepers to kick the penalties. He showed signs he was going to be hero for his country when he pushed out a spot kick from Ghana goalkeeper Braimah Razak’s shot at the time of penalties known as sudden death.

The two sides had stood up to each order in the 120 minutes without a goal before undergoing the highly tensed period of penalties after fruitless attempts at goal.

On Monday the whole nation rested and celebrated thanks to this rejected corner stone who stole victory from the Black Stars prolonging their agony of touching the cup after 33 years.

Ivory Cost President Alassane Ouattara declared a paid public holiday and was at the airport to welcome the players for a tour of the town before their communion with the Ivorian people at the Felix Houphouet –Boigny Stadium. The President decorated the team on Tuesday at the presidency.

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