Ghana's hope of annexing a fifth Africa Cup of Nations title was dashed as Ivory Coast edged the Black Stars 9-8 on penalties after the final ended 0-0 following extra time.
Ivorian goalkeeper Boubacar Barry scored the decisive goal after having saved Ghana's eleventh kick.
It was a long night in Bata and with 120 minutes of football played, the honours went to Ivory Coast.
Ghana were aiming for their first title since 1982 but history repeated itself as the only other Ivorian title came in 1992 when they edged the Ghana, also on penalties after a goalless draw.
And for Ghana coach Avram Grant, it was a disappointing way to lose after a good run of form.
"I feel painful to lose like this," Ghana coach Avram Grant said after the game in Bata.
I feel proud of what the boys did today. We scored the highest number of goals and conceded the lowest number of goals.
"This is football. And things like this can happen. We were the better side but in penalties, anything can happen."
Despite their loss, Christian Atsu, Andre Ayew, Afriyie Acquah and Kwesi Appiah bowed out with some individual awards.
Atsu was named the tournament's most valuable player. He also picked the best goal of the competition following his great strike against Guinea during the group stages.
Ayew bowed out with the highest scoring prize after scoring three goals in the competition.
Acquah was named the best player of the final game while Appiah bagged the fair-player prize for the competition.