Guinea on Sunday, clinched a thrilling 1-0 victory against Equatorial Guinea in their final Group E encounter of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), securing their spot in the quarter-finals.
This triumph places Guinea in second position within the group, trailing behind Mali, while Equatorial Guinea’s AFCON journey concludes.
The decisive goal materialized during injury time when Mohamed Bayo expertly headed in a cross from substitute Ilaima Barry, igniting jubilation among Guinean supporters.
This triumph is a well-deserved reward for Guinea’s dominant performance, as they consistently created superior scoring opportunities throughout the match.
Despite being reduced to 10 men after Esteban Orozco’s expulsion in the 72nd minute, Equatorial Guinea valiantly fought on but ultimately succumbed to Guinea’s unwavering determination.
Naija News reports that at the Ebimpe Olympic Stadium in Abidjan, Bayo, the player from Le Havre, a team in the French Ligue 1, made the difference in a crucial moment for Guinea, leading to an eruption of jubilation among the Guinea team and their passionate fans.
This victory marked a significant milestone for the Syli National as they had never before triumphed in a knockout tie of the Cup of Nations.
In 1976, they reached the finals but finished as runners-up when the top four teams competed in a round-robin format to determine the champion.
What could have been a game changer for Equatorial Guinea, the referee rightfully awarded a penalty kick for them. However, the tournament’s leading goal scorer, Emilio Nsue, failed to capitalize on the opportunity to score his sixth goal in this AFCON.
Unfortunately, his penalty struck the post and went wide.
“It means a lot. We knew that this could be a historic occasion,” said Guinea coach Kaba Diawara, who was in tears at the final whistle.
“Even if the way we did it was not beautiful, even if we did it in the last minute, we don’t care. Winning is the only thing that matters.”
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