Last Updated: 12/02/12 11:31pm
Unbelievable stuff here as the celebrations begin for Zambia - who are the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Champions. Devastating for the Ivory Coast who promised so much but go home empty handed. Thank you for joining us for this incredible encounter and good night.
GOAL - Stophira Sunzu - to the right - and with that penalty Zambia are crowned Africa Cup of Nations winners - it has ended 8-7 to Chipolopolo.
That's it and we are heading to penalties after the two sides could not be separated after 120 minutes of football - chance for Drogba to make amends perhaps...
Time is ticking away here and the play has slowed down. It seems as if both teams have settled for penalties.
Unbelievable stuff here as Mweene and Gervinho collide before Gradel tries an overhead kick. Zambia will need their keeper to overcome this set-back with penalties looming.
Nervy moments for Mweene with Bony closing in on him following a flick-on from Drogba but the keeper is first to the ball.
Ivory Coast are in the ascendancy here and Zambia will need to regain their composure if they are to survive this onslaught. Gradel is causing them all sorts of problems down the left-hand side.
Kalaba breaks into the box and looks to have beaten his man before delivering a cross but Bamba gets back well to make the block.
Gervinho twists and turns on the edge of the box before unleashing a shot that Stophira Sunzu is well placed to clear.
Easy pickings for Mweene following a shot from Gradel as Katongo overhits a cross as the game gets a bit scrappy in this first half of extra time.
Christopher Katongo has hit the post after sidefooting the ball goalward - what a fantastic run by Felix Katongo who fed his brother in the box - but at second look it appears as if Barry has got a foot to the ball and knocked it onto the woodwork.
Mweene does very well to deny Drogba, by diving at the striker's feet as he latches onto a long ball into the box.
That's it - we are heading to extra-time after the sides could not be seperated in 90 minutes. What a chance Drogba had to win this one but he could not score from the spot. It's anyone's game now.
Extra time is delayed due to an injury to Gervinho as he tried to score a goal through the body of Mweene.
Mayuka in the area and on the volley and over the bar after a super clearance from Kolo Touré following a brilliant chip forward by Isaac Chansa.
Gradel has the clearest chance of the night but after turning Davies Nkausu in the box and onto his favoured left-foot he rolls a shot just wide of the far post.
Time ticking away as Didier Ya Konan has a wayward shot on goal before Gradel wins a corner after another driving run - Mweene punches the ball clear.
Chisamba Lungu goes for glory with a strike with the outside of his right boot from the left hand side when he had a number of options in the box to pass to.
Mayuka gets the better of Gosso down the left but his low cross is weak and cut out by the Ivory Coast who break through Gervinho - before the striker is upended.
In the midst of all the substitutions we have a very exciting game with Katongo wasting a great chance when he wanted to much time on the ball before Didier Ya Konan takes the ball off the head of Drogba from a Kolo Touré free-kick.
Yellow card to Bamba for remonstrating his innocence following what he thought was a clean challenge on Mayuka. Kalaba's set-piece is blasted high and wide of the Ivory Coast goal.
Gosso is forced to slide clear under pressure from Mayuka following a low cross from Kalaba as Tioté is yellow carded for a foul on Mulenga.
It's end to end here again for the moment with the spark having returned as Chansa wins a corner with his shot deflected out of play - The Ivory Coast struggle to clear their lines until Sinkala is adjudged to have fouled Gosso.
Now Kalaba wastes a chance to put in a dangerous delivery from a set-piece as Barry collects the ball with ease.
Cheick Tioté's long-range free-kick is flicked on by Drogba to no real effect and the ball goes out of play.
This second half has seen a dip in tempo compared to the first with both sides conceding possession far to easily here.
More good work from Gervinho who drives to the touchline before getting a cross into Drogba who can't get his effort on target.
Drogba is back on and play continues. Gervinho tries his luck with a cheeky shot from the touchline that hits the sidenetting.
An early stoppage as Drogba goes down after a clash of heads with Mulenga. The captain may have to come off after looking pretty groggy following that challenge.
Drogba has a shot in anger from at least 40 yards out as the referee blows the whistle to signal the end of a very entertaining first half in the Africa Cup of Nations final. Good chances for both sides but we go into the break locked at 0-0.
Gosso is back on but his next contribution is to waste a great opportunity to deliver a cross to a waiting trio of Ivorians in the box - he loses his footing on the wet pitch.
Good passage of play from the Ivory Coast that is only brought to a halt with an injury to Gosso following a challenge from Chansa.
Katongo smashes a shot wide with options in the box before Drogba fails to control a super ball forward with time and space to open up fot a shot.
It's end to end stuff here as Katongo earns the cheers of the crowd with a couple of stepovers before delivering a teasing cross that Kolo Touré is forced to clear. Yaya Touré then so nearly sets up the opener for Gervinho who gets goalside of his man but can't get a clean shot away.
Sinkala gets his head to a deep free-kick from Kalaba, but under heavy pressure from Didier Zokora and Gosso, the chance is lost.
Some pinball in midfield as the weather starts to have a real impact on this game, with players losing their footing with every touch.
Yaya Touré comes agonisingly close to netting the opener after a fine passage of play by the Ivorians. Gosso's cross from the right finds Drogba whose backheel finds his Chelsea teammate, but the striker's effort misses the far post by a whisker.
A shot a piece from both sides, but while Kalaba's effort is catching practice for Barry, Kalou can't find the target with his effort.
Ivory Coast go up the other end and win a succession of corners - Drogba is close to finding the target from Kalou's delivery before Sol Bamba misjudges his header, allowing Zambia to clear their lines.
The wet turf is causing the Ivorians a few problems here with the rain falling heavily, as Salomon Kalou overruns the ball before Mayuka wins a free-kick off the impressive Jean-Jacques Gosso. Rainford Kalaba drives a shot goalward that takes a deflection off Kalou, but the corner comes to nothing.
The Ivory Coast are starting to get into their rhythm now and again they win a free-kick, this time just five yards form the edge of the Zambia box. Siaka Tiéné lines up his set-piece but delivers the ball into the hands of Kennedy Mweene.
Free-kick to Ivory Coast here after a foul on Drogba by Nathan Sinkala. The Elephants captain had gone on one of his trademark runs and after beating Hijani Himoonde, he was upended by Sinkala. Drogba hits the free-kick straight at the wall.
Emmanuel Mayuka comes close to adding to his goal tally with a header that flies just over Barry's goal from a good far post chip from Chisamba Lungu.
A patient build up by the Elephants before Musonda, who is back on the field, albeit briefly, can clear - he is being withdrawn and Nyambe Mulenga is on in his place.
A confident start here by Zambia who are seeing a lot of the ball early on. It's difficult to know just who the majority of the crowd are supporting though with cheers for both sides following a frenetic opening.
What an incredible start to this final as Joseph Musonda slids into take the ball off the boot of Gervinho after the striker is played in on goal by Drogba.
Zambia win an early corner as Christopher Katongo's attempted cross is deflected out off the boot of Sol Bamba and after being swung in, Nathan Sinkala so nearly gives his side an early lead but his shot is well saved by Boubacar Barry.
Ivory Coast remain unchanged from the side that beat Mali in their semi-final. Chelsea striker Didier Drogba leads the line with Salomon Kalou and Gervinho making up a powerful strikeforce.
Ok so just to recap, the team news for Zambia is that their top scorer in the tournament Emmanuel Mayuka takes his place in the starting line-up in place of James Chamanga. Chisamba Lungu has, meanwhile, been given the nod over Francis Kasonde in midfield while Davies Nkausu moves into defence.
The players are finally out on the pitch and have lined up for the national anthems, we are only moments from kick-off...
Gavin reckons: "This final has the ingredients to be the best ever African Cup of Nations final ever. With all of Ivory Coast's well known stars performing at their peak at the moment and Zambia being such a major surprise of this tournament, this will be a cracking final. 2:1 to Zambia is my prediction."
Ivory Coast team: 1 Boubacar Barry, 17 Siaka Tiéné, 4 Kolo Touré, 22 Sol Bamba, 6 Jean-Jacques Gosso, 5 Didier Zokora, 9 Cheick Tioté, 19 Yaya Touré, 10 Gervinho, 8 Salomon Kalou, 11 Didier Drogba
Zambia team: 16 Kennedy Mweene, 4 Joseph Musonda, 13 Stophira Sunzu, 5 Hijani Himoonde, 6 Davies Nkausu, 19 Nathan Sinkala, 3 Chisamba Lungu, 8 Isaac Chansa, 11 Christopher Katongo, 17 Rainford Kalaba, 20 Emmanuel Mayuka
James from Angola says: "It will be good for soccer if Zambia can win so the big teams will start looking at their so-called stars and begin to make some changes for AFCON 2013 and the World Cup."
Remy in Chamonix, France says: "I put a quid on Zambia to win the tournament at the start, it was 40/1 COME ON ZAMBIA."
To have your say on this match, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll try to post as many comments as possible.
But Zambia, who defeated Ghana 1-0 to earn their final spot, under the guidance of Herve Renard, are twice runners up at the event and have scored the same amount of goals as the Ivorians (9), winning four of their games and drawing one.
Francois Zahoui side have won all five of their games at the tournament, most recently edging Mali 1-0 in the semi-finals. Notably, they have yet to concede a goal.
They have extra incentive to come out on top as they bid to honour the memory of a 1993 plane crash off the Gabon coast that wiped out one of their most promising national squads. However, Didier Drogba and Co. are a stern test for any side and have firmly set their sights on winning their first AFCON since 1992.
The Elephants were firm favorites to walk away with the coveted trophy ahead of the tournament but Chipolopolo have surprised many with their impressive displays and are many a fans' choice to claim the prize tonight.