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AFCON 2023: Giant killers get killed as Guinea eject Equatorial Guinea

AFCON 2023: Giant killers get killed as Guinea eject Equatorial Guinea

Mohamed Bayo broke the hearts of Equatorial Guinea on Sunday evening with just seconds left on the clock to snath a late 1-0 victory for Guinea in a CAF Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 clash played at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpe.

The Guinea derby had all the ingredients of a knockout encounter, with both sides having a go at each other from the onset.

Equatorial Guinea came into the clash with good momentum following their impressive first place finish in a tough Group A consisting of Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria while Guinea snuck into the round of 16 as one of the four best third finishers of the group stages.

With both sides creating chances, a golden opportunity was presented to Equatorial Guinea just after the hour mark when Ivan Salvador was fouled in the box for the in-form Emilio Nsue to step up but saw his penalty denied by the woodwork to the relief of Guinea.

The missed penalty would have been a huge advantage to Equatorial Guinea who were a man-down following the sending off of Frederico Nchama.

With just a few seconds before the end of the ninety minutes, a swift build up by Guinea concluded with Ibrahim Diakite sending a delightful ball into the area which was cleverly headed into the near post by Bayo to seal a place in the quarter-finals for the seventh time in 14 appearances.

Kaba Diawara – Guinea coach

“This victory means a lot. We knew the historic nature of the match. We knew that since 1976, Guinea had not won a knockout match. It’s a feeling of pride. There was a lot of criticism, but I knew this group had quality and we proved it today. Everyone prepared well. It’s a group that we built piece by piece and it’s a reward for them and for us also the coaches.

“We now look ahead. We want to go as far as possible. We will wait for the next opponent and we will prepare better”.

Juan Micha – Equatorial Guinea coach

“I think our team was at a good level. We played until the end. We fought until the end but that’s also football. I congratulate the opposing opponent. I think we had control at the start of the match but when you have a key player sent off, it becomes difficult, especially if you have an opponent who is putting pressure on you. They scored a goal in the last minute, which demoralized us but I congratulate my players, they were good in the match”.

Statistical

Guinea wins for the first time in a direct elimination match at CAN CAF since 1976.

 

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