Stats from Zambia's historic win
In one of the most emotional and improbable triumphs in Africa Cup of Nations history, Zambia won its first continental crown on Sunday in Gabon, the same country where the Chipolopolo lost 18 players and seven team officials in a plane crash in 1993. Here's a look at the incredibility of the Copper Bullets' title run and shootout victory over Ivory Coast.
• This was the 28th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, and the 15th appearance for Zambia, which had been the most frequent participant never to win the title. Zambia becomes the 14th different country to win the championship, and is the second country in the last 16 tournaments to win its first title on foreign soil, joining 1992 Ivory Coast, which won in Senegal.
• How improbable was Zambia's championship? At the beginning of the tournament, ESPN's Soccer Power Index rated Zambia 77th in the world and 11th among the 16 teams at the tournament, with only a 1.9 percent chance of winning the title.
• Before the tournament, SPI projected Zambia with a 48.6 percent chance to reach the quarterfinals, making the Copper Bullets the third favorite in a balanced Group A, behind Senegal and Libya. Zambia was given 9.5 percent hopes of reaching the final, and mere 1.9 percent odds to win the title.
Zambia's Pre-Tournament Chances to Advance, According to Soccer Power Index
• The numbers weren't much more favorable before the quarterfinals. A favorable first matchup versus Sudan made Zambia a 64.6 percent favorite in that round. But with both Ghana and Ivory Coast looming, Zambia had a 19.4 percent chance of reaching the final and still only a 3.9 percent shot at lifting the trophy.
• Entering the final, Ivory Coast was rated 10th in the world, while Zambia had moved up to 62nd. At that point, the Elephants were still a heavy 83.8 percent to win the title. Ivory Coast did become the third team to allow zero goals at the tournament, joining 1992 Ivory Coast and 2002 Cameroon, but the 2012 Elephants now bear the unfortunate label of being the only one of those three not to win the title.