Pablo Ganet’s 37th minute thunderbolt was enough for Equatorial Guinea to edge Sierra Leone 1-0 at Limbe Stadium on Thursday, and cruise through to the round of 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations.
It was an evening meant for Equatorial Guinea given the fact that goalkeeper Jesus Ngua stood firm and saved Kei Ansu Kamara’s penalty in the 84th minute.
Sierra Leone were reduced to 10 men in the 89th minute when Kwame Quee was sent off for a second bookable offence.
The Nzalang Nacional finished second in Group E on six points, one adrift of leaders Ivory Coast who gathered seven points.
For starters, Equatorial Guinea are playing at their only third AFCON tournament, having debuted in 2012 and they have gone past the group stages on all three attempts.
In their debut tournament in 2012, they were quarterfinalists losing to Ivory Coast, in 2015 they reached the semifinals before they lost to Ghana.
They would later lose the third place final playoff on penalties to DR Congo, hence finishing fourth.
Equatorial Guinea now awaits who finishes as Group F winners for a knockout tie at Limbe Stadium on Wednesday, January 26.
How both teams lined up
Sierra Leone: Mohamed Kamara (GK), Osman Jovan Kakay, Kevin Wright, Steven Roy Caulker, John Kamara, Kwame Quee, Kei Ansu Kamara, Umaru Bangura ©, Mustapha Bundu, Abu Dumbuya, Musa Kamara
Equatorial Guinea: Jesus Ngua (GK), Frederico Nchama, Ivan Edu Salvador, Joe Dicombo, Basilio Nchama, Carlos Martinez ©, Jose Boacho, Dorian Mihe, Estaban Fernandez, Pablo Comitre