Ivory Coast have clinched their first Africa Cup of Nations title for 23 years after a dramatic 9-8 penalty shootout win over Ghana in the final in Bata, Equatorial Guinea.
It looked as though the spot-kicks would not go on for long after Ghana took an early 2-0 lead but the Ivorians fought back and goalkeeper Boubacar Barry scored the winning penalty after he had saved his opposite number Brimah Razak's strike in sudden death.
Barry only played in the match after first-choice stopper Sylvain Gbohouo was injured in the semi-final victory against the Democratic Republic of Congo, but he proved to be the hero as the tournament drew to an exciting close.
Despite a multitude of attacking talent on display, the contest ended goalless after 120 minutes before the Elephants showed the better composure to ensure they would be the ones who lifted the trophy aloft.
For the Black Stars, the long wait for the Africa Cup of Nations to return to Ghana continues after they fell short once again following two successive fourth-placed finishes.
It proved to be a familiar feeling for Ghana after they lost the 1992 final on penalties to the Ivorians, and several of their players appeared to be inconsolable as they went to collect their runners-up medals.
Following crowd violence that marred Ghana's victory over host nation Equatorial Guinea, increased security was put in place but thankfully the final passed with no sign of further trouble.
The match itself was a rather tepid affair that subverted the reputation of the two sides, who possess some of African football's most famous names.
But the likes of Manchester City's Yaya Touré and Wilfried Bony were largely anonymous during the match, which in truth was dull for large periods as penalties looked on the cards almost from the first whistle.
Understandably in a match of this magnitude, neither side wanted to commit too many numbers in attack which made for a relatively dour contest as both team's struggled to create many clear-cut chances, although the Black Stars did strike the post twice.
Christian Atsu, who was named player of the tournament after the match, hit a rasping drive from 25 yards that crashed against the upright before André Ayew's shot came back off the opposite post.
But they were mere fleeting moments in a game that always looked likely to go the distance.
After both sides failed to find the net in 120 minutes, once again an Africa Cup of Nations final would be decided by the dreaded penalty kicks, and when Bony and Tallo Gadji missed the opening two penalties for the Ivory Coast, the pendulum swung firmly in Ghana's favour.
But the Elephants showed their mettle and courage to claw their way back into the shootout and after all 20 outfield players had taken a penalty, it was left up to the goalkeepers to decide the destination of the trophy.
Barry, who is often derided and blamed for Ivory Coast's recent lack of silverware, became an instant hero by coolly dispatching the crucial penalty.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
February 2015: Blatter criticises media coverage of crowd trouble in Ghana's Africa Cup of Nations semi-final win
February 2015: Morocco fined $1 million and banned from 2017 and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations
January 2015: Ghana reach Africa Cup of Nations final as crowd trouble halts match for over half an hour
January 2015: Ivory Coast book African Cup of Nations final berth as referee suspended for six months
January 2015: Video evidence set to be viewed after Tunisia's controversial African Cup of Nations exit