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Free-Scoring Eq. Guinea Suffer Late AFCON Heartbreak

Guinea booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after a last-gasp 1-0 win over ten-man Equatorial Guinea on Sunday evening.

2023 Africa Cup of Nations

Result: Equatorial Guinea 0-1 Guinea

Date: 28 January 2024

Venue: Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara

EQG reached the quarter-finals after they topped Group A ahead of Nigeria and hosts Cote d’Ivoire and line-up with tournament top goal-scorer Emilio Nsue spearheading their attack.

Guinea, meanwhile, qualified for the last eight as one of the best third-placed teams after finishing behind Senegal and Cameroon.

The sides were sizing each other out in the opening exchanges, with most of the play not producing dangerous moments in front of goal.

The game continued to be balanced until the water break midway through the first stanza and only came to life towards the end of the first stanza as Morgan Guilavogui took it upon himself to take players on for Guinea and unleashed a strike that sailed slightly over the crossbar.

However, the second stanza started brightly, as Mory Konate found the back of the net for the National Elephants nine minutes from the break but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Equatorial Guinea, meanwhile, were losing their temper as they were down to ten men moments later after Federico Bikoro was red-carded for a dangerous tackle.

However, EQG had a big chance to go ahead on 65 minutes after they were awarded a penalty following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review after a melee in the box but Nsue guided his spot-kick into the post.

Kaba Diawara’s charges gained momentum in the closing stages and Serhou Guirassy almost gave them the winner with seven minutes remaining after his header produced reflexes from Jesus Owono.

Guinea continued to pile pressure on Equatorial Guinea and Mohamed Bayo finally found the winner deep in stoppage time with a header at the near post from a cross by Ibrahim Diakite.

The National Elephants will face the winner between Egypt and Democratic Republic of Congo in the quarter-finals. 

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