Grant suffers another bitter penalty shootout defeat
09 February 2015, 11:38
Bata - Avram Grant tasted the bitterness of yet another narrow penalty shootout defeat as Ghana lost after 22 kicks to the Ivory Coast in Sunday's African Nations Cup final.
The Ghana coach saw his side go 2-0 up in the shootout only to lose 9-8 after the sides had played out a goalless draw in the final at the Estadio de Bata.
For Grant it revived memories of the 2008 Champions League final when his Chelsea side were one kick away from beating Manchester United, but John Terry slipped and hit the post with his effort and they went on to lose 6-5
"I don't believe in those kind of things," he told reporters when asked if he was cursed.
"We did practise penalties on the day before the match but it is not the same as when you take them in front of spectators.
"Both sides had 11 kicks which meant it went down to the goalkeepers."
Boubacar Barry scored the winner for the Ivorians after only being drafted into the team when first choice Sylvain Gbohouo was injured on Saturday.
Also read: Backup Barry wins African Nations Cup title for Ivory Coast
For Grant, the final appearance came just weeks after he took over on Jan 1. To come so close to lifting the title was a major plus for the Israeli.
"To reach the final is a big achievement that many did not give us a chance to do," the former Portsmouth, West Ham United and Partizan Belgrade manager said.
"I'm more proud about this than what happened with the penalties. Not one of you rated Ghana before the tournament, not just to win but to play this type of football.
"The players gave so much. They made me happy except of course the penalties but that happens."