Malabo, Equatorial Guinea: Chancel Mbemba, who converted a penalty in Democratic Republic of Congo`s win over Equatorial Guinea in Saturday`s third-place playoff, said he knew his side would win the shootout.
The two teams played out a 0-0 draw after 120 minutes under muted circumstances at the Estadio de Malabo following the crowd disorder that marred the home team`s semi-final defeat by Ghana.
Javier Balboa and Raul Fabrini then missed with poor spot kicks as DR Congo won the shootout 4-2.
"I knew we would win," Mbemba told reporters. "I don`t take penalties for my club, nor in training, I rarely shoot in a match so this was something new.
"Today I did it in such a high-profile match for my family because my family have supported me 100 percent. I didn`t really feel the pressure, it helped that Equatorial Guinea missed two penalties."
The Anderlecht defender heaped praise on coach Florent Ibenge.
"We are a young team working with a local coach," he said. "Not many local coaches get the chance in Africa but Florent Ibenge gave me and my team mates confidence."
Despite playing out of position in central midfield, Mbemba has been one of the standout players at the tournament.
"I was here to do anything necessary for the team," he said. "The coach is the teacher, he wants to use every student, every player. If he says play right, I’ll do it, play left, I’ll do it.
"That was the first Nations Cup I played in. Back in South Africa in 2013 I didn’t play, I was on the bench and then-coach Claude Le Roy said I was too young.
"I have shown at Anderlecht that I am very capable, everyone knows me there, but coach Ibenge has shown me what I can do, that I can flourish as a defensive midfielder."
Neighbours Ivory Coast and Ghana meet in the final in Bata on Sunday evening.