Ghana Football FULL TIME: Gabon 0 – 2 Equatorial Guinea By sports5050 - 25.01.15 FULL TIME! EQUATORIAL GUINEA MAKE THEIR WAY INTO THE KNOCKOUT STAGES! The tournament hosts have beaten Gabon 2-0 in Group A, meaning that they join Congo in the next round! Goals from Javier Balboa and Ivan Salvador wrap up the three points for Becker’s men, sparking wild scenes of celebration on and off the field! They can’t quite believe it! 90′ + 4′ The hosts’ bench is already on its feet and ready to invade the pitch once the final whistle goes! About a minute stands between one of the tournament’s minnows and the knockout stages. Becker looks overjoyed. 90′ + 3′ Gabon look somewhat shellshocked here! Iban tries to waste some time in the corner and manages to earn his side a throw in. It’s all about running down the clock for Equatorial Guinea now. 90′ + 1′ We’re into the first of FIVE minutes of stoppage time! 90′ As it stands Equatorial Guinea will be heading into the next round in second place, with Congo having just re-taken the lead against Burkina Faso. Randy goes down with a knock, but won’t need physio attention. 89′ SubstitutionNsueRuben Obama Nsue ondo 88′ The stands are in a state of absolute mayhem! The noise continues long after the goal celebrations finish on the field, with the tournament hosts within touching distance of the next round! Gabon need two goals in the next few minutes! 86′ Goal Iban Salvador edu GOOOOOOOOOOOAL! THAT SHOULD BE THAT, EQUATORIAL GUINEA GO 2-0 UP AND THERE ARE SCENES IN BATA! Ivan Salvador thumps home a close-range finish to cause absolute madness inside this stadium! Nsue is denied by D. Ovono first time around, but can’t keep the rebound out! 85′ Five minutes are left on the clock in Bata, with Gabon on the verge of making their way home from the Africa Cup of Nations. Rogombe is brought down by Randy, but Aubameyang’s long-range free-kick effort rockets terribly out of play! Selfish stuff there, he could have whipped a cross into the box. 83′ SubstitutionJohann ObiangJ. Lengoualama 83′ Gabon are the side pushing for the next goal, but Equatorial Guinea are standing firm for the moment. Balboa then tries to slide a ball in behind for Doualla to chase, but Ecuele makes a perfectly timed sliding challenge to deny the midfielder. 81′ The Gabon bench looks extremely nervy at the moment, with Costa’s men winning a free kick around 30 yards from goal. Aubameyang dips a cross in towards the back post, but Ecuele is found in an offside position as he blasts a poor close-range effort over the bar. 79′ Narrowly over ten minutes remains for Gabon to break the hosts’ hearts, with Costa’s men still desperately pouring forward. Their final ball just hasn’t been good enough thus far, with Equatorial Guinea able to hold out fairly comfortably. 77′ SubstitutionG. KangaR. Rogombé 77′ Brilliant stop from D. Ovono! Balboa is found in acres of space at the back post, but is denied by a fantastic save from the feet of the goalkeeper! That was so very close to the tournament hosts extending their lead to a near-unassailable level. 76′ SubstitutionRaul FabianiJuvenal 75′ F. Ovono claims yet another cross, with the goalkeeping continuing to provide a solid foundation for his side’s exploits. He’s commanded his area brilliantly this evening, cutting out any erratic sides of his game. 73′ Doualla drives from deep and unleashes a long-range effort, but places it too close to the goalkeeper, who smothers! Gabon have to be careful here, as although they need a goal, one more for Equatorial Guinea and they’re in desperate trouble. 71′ D. Ovono now makes an important save! Equatorial Guinea go close to really piling the pressure onto Gabon, but the goalkeeper is able to smother the ball under the watchful eye of the opposition’s lurking strikers. This game has a real tempo now, both sides know what is required of them. 69′ SubstitutionAndré Biyogo PokoI. Ndong 69′ The substitute tries to get involved from the very start, but after working the ball out to the right, he fails to get on the end of the resulting cross. Poko is replaced by Dider Ndong. 68′ SubstitutionEnrique Boula SenobuaIban Salvador edu 67′ Bulot tries to clip a cross in towards the back post, but F. Ovono rushes out to claim well. The Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper has been efficient and excellent in everything he has done so far this evening. Iban Salvador is ready to come on for the hosts. 65′ Raul Fabiani tries to break in behind the Gabon back four, but Ondele displays excellent strength to ensure that the ball rolls harmlessly out of play for a goal kick. Gabon look a little bit panicked in the aftermath of Balboa’s opener! 63′ The home fans are making lots of noise, urging their players towards what would be a famous and vital victory in Group A. Aubameyang appears to be Equatorial Guinea’s only real threat, with the Dortmund forward’s mere athleticism a force to be reckoned with. 61′ Less than half an hour remains for Gabon to save their place in the knockout stages, with the team in yellow needing merely a point tonight in order to seal their place in the latter part of the tournament. As it stands, however, Becker’s men have come out for the second half motivated and inspired. 59′ BULOT MISSES A GREAT CHANCE! Aubameyang breaks down the left and lifts a cross back from the byline, but the Gabon number ten can only slide in and send the ball sailing over the crossbar from six yards out! What an opportunity for Costa’s side! 57′ Well, Group A has a rather different complexion now! Gabon drop out of second place as it stands, with the tournament hosts replacing their opponents. Raul Fabiani drives down the right-hand side, before unleashing a wicked effort, but D. Ovono does well to smother! Gabon break, but Bulot sees a cross-cum-shot deflect onto the roof of the net! 55′ Penalty Goal Javier Balboa GOOOOOOOOOAL! JAVIER BALBOA CONVERTS THE PENALTY! The stadium goes into raptures! The Equatorial Guinea man blasts a finish beyond D. Ovono, who guesses the right way, and as it stands they will be progressing into the next round! 54′ Yellow Card Lloyd Palun 53′ PENALTY FOR EQUATORIAL GUINEA! Balboa is brought down inside the penalty area by Palun and the tournament hosts have a real chance to ruffle some feathers now! 53′ In the other game in Group A, Congo have taken the lead courtesy of a goal from Thievy Bifouma. That will only serve to extend the group leaders’ point advantage at the top, but Equatorial Guinea’s mission remains the same – they need more than a point to progress. 51′ Another save from F. Ovono! This time Bulot is denied from a free-kick scenario, with his curling left-footed attempt being lifted over the bar by the glove of the Equatorial Guinea shot-stopper! Gabon continue to go close. 50′ Yellow Card Iván Zarandona 49′ Aubameyang uses his speed down the left-hand side, bypassing two challenges just by sheer pace. The former Saint-Etienne striker is this game’s shining light and continues to cause problems for Equatorial Guinea when popping up in space all over the field. 47′ CLOSE FROM AUBAMEYANG! The Dortmund man fires a long-range free-kick effort towards the top left-hand corner, but F. Ovono gets across well to palm the ball over the crossbar! The resulting corner is then promptly wasted by Gabon. 46′ We are back underway in the second half! As it stands, Congo and Gabon are set to qualify from Group A, but Equatorial Guinea could cause an upset in the next 45 minutes! HALF TIME! It remains goalless in Bata, with neither Equatorial Guinea nor Gabon able to open the scoring in Group A! Aubameyang and Bulot have gone closest, with both forwards denied by good goalkeeping from F. Ovono. There’s still all to play for here in terms of progression into the knockout stages, be sure to rejoin us in ten minutes! 44′ Evouna tries to make a run off the last man, in order to take a pass from Palun, but the main Gabon striker is caught narrowly offside. It has been a case of so close but yet so far for Costa’s men so far this evening. 42′ In the other game in Group A, it also remains 0-0. If things stay as they are, Congo and Gabon will go through into the knockout stages from this group. However, if Equatorial Guinea were to score first, it would really shake things up. 40′ Only five minutes remains until the half-time break, with Equatorial Guinea starting to rally somewhat. Kike Seno breaks down the right, before setting a pass back to the edge of the box, but Sipo blasts an absolutely abysmal first-time effort high and wide! 38′ Raul Fabiani unleashes an effort from the edge of the box on the half volley, but it zips straight over the crossbar with the goalkeeper nonplussed. He’s determined to have an effect here tonight. 37′ The referee awards a corner for Equatorial Guinea, despite Palun claiming that he didn’t touch the ball before it ran out of play. The set piece is whipped in but easily cleared at the first time of asking at the front post. 35′ Raul Fabiani tries to outmuscle Ecuele Manga and race in behind the Gabon back four, but the Cardiff defender is bundled to the turf and the referee therefore penalises the opposing striker. Fabiani yells and gesticulates in frustration, he hasn’t been able to impose himself on this game. 33′ Becker stands on the edge of his technical area and continues to demand more from his players, who have defended fairly well but created next to nothing. Aubameyang breaks down the right flank yet again, but the forward’s looping cross is missed by Kanga who was arriving at the back post! 31′ The opening half hour hasn’t had too many clear cut chances, but Gabon have certainly had the best of them. Aubameyang and Bulot have been denied by good saves, with Costa’s men looking to likeliest side to take the lead in this Group A contest. 29′ F. OVONO MAKES ANOTHER SAVE! Evouna and Bulot combine brilliantly on the edge of the box with a one-two, but the latter can only place an effort from 12 yards straight at the goalkeeper! Gabon are knocking on the door, but the Equatorial Guinea shot-stopper is keeping honours even. 28′ Bulot and Poko attempt to link up down the right-hand side, but an errant touch from the former results in Sipo being able to shepherd the ball behind for a goal kick. Kike Seno then breaks down the flank at real pace, but his eventual cut back from the byline is intercepted vitally. 26′ Gabon are looking more threatening at the moment, with their pacey front two exploiting pockets of space in wide areas. Nsue and Raul Fabiani have only managed to combine on a couple of occasions, with the tournament hosts continuing to look slightly goal shy. 24′ Aubameyang pops up on the left-hand side this time, but his cross is headed clear despite two yellow shirts queuing up at the back post! The rebounding ball is lashed some way wide, as Gabon continue to draw blanks in front of goal. 22′ Equatorial Guinea remain under pressure, with a few defensive headers required in the last few minutes. Aubameyang breaks to the byline on the right-hand side, but Sipo makes a good block to deny a cross from the Borussia Dortmund man. 20′ GREAT SAVE! F. Ovono is called into action to deny Evouna, with the Gabon striker desperately trying to get on the end of a rather ambitious long ball. Moments later, the goalkeeper makes a top reflex save to deny a bullet header from Aubameyang and push it around the post! 19′ Yellow Card Randy 18′ Raul Fabiani is denied! The striker is picked out at the back post by a good cross from Balboa, but Ecuele Manga tracks back well to deny the Equatorial Guinea man as he looked to stroke home a finish! 17′ Obiang picks up a yellow card after a rather delayed dive from Kike Seno, but the resulting free kick from Randy is headed behind for a corner by Evouna. The set piece is whipped in, but D. Ovono comes out to claim under no pressure. 16′ Yellow Card Johann Obiang 15′ D. Ovono is called into action once again! After Raul Fabiani set Nsue in behind enemy lines, the Gabon goalkeeper is quick off his line to smother the through ball ahead of the floundering Ondele! Aubameyang then tries to break down the left moments later, but is tackled well by Randy. Possession is kept alive and Obiang delivers a couple of crosses, but F. Ovono ends up with the ball in his hands. 13′ Finally, play settles down slightly and Gabon decide to retain possession for a while and display some patience. No sooner has Palun looked down the line for Kanga, however, the right-sided midfielder is robbed of the ball. 11′ This game has been very low on quality in the early stages. There have been scrappy fouls, awful shots and solely long balls pumped into either penalty area. Randy clips a free kick into the box, but Ondele gets rid of the danger for Gabon. 9′ Balboa fires well over the crossbar! The former Real Madrid Castilla striker gets too much underneath the ball and sends it hurtling into the stands behind Gabon’s goal. Awful free-kick attempt. 7′ D. Ovono collects a cross easily, before attempting to kick start a counter attack with a long punt upfield. Play is pulled back, however, as the linesman decides that the goalkeeper took his kick from outside the box. The Gabon shot-stopper can’t believe it and must now face a free kick as a result. 5′ Gabon earn themselves a free kick in enemy territory, but Bulot is beaten to the ball in the air and the hosts clear their lines. Direct balls have been the order of the day thus far, with neither side willing to keep it on the deck and stroke possession around. 3′ The opening few minutes are rather cagey and tame, with both goalkeepers collecting long balls and taking their time to launch possession back upfield. Both sides are clearly very aware of the consequences of conceding early on, especially the players in the red of Equatorial Guinea. 1′ After the national anthems and the usual pre-match niceties, we are underway in the final game of Group A! Equatorial Guinea are in all red, while Gabon don yellow. Equatorial Guinea substitutes: Ruben Belima, Diosdado Mbele, Juvenal, Ivan Bolado, Embela, Igor Engonga, Iban Salvador, Ruben Dario, Charly, Pablo Ganet, Carlos Mosibe. Equatorial Guinea starting line-up (4-4-2): F. Ovono; Ivan Zarandona, Doualla, Rui, Dani Evuy; Kike Seno, Randy, Sipo, Javier Balboa; Nsue, Raul Fabiani. Gabon substitutes: Lengoualama, Mbingui, Zue, Ndong, Mfa Mezui, N’Doumbou, Ze Ondo, Sokambi, Rogombe, D. Ndong, Bitseki. Gabon starting line-up (4-4-2): D. Ovono; Palun, Ecuele Manga, Ondele, Obiang; Kanga, Madinda, Biyogho Poko, Bulot; Aubameyang, Evouna. TEAM NEWS: Raul Fabiani partners Nsue up top for the tournament hosts, with Javier Balboa continues on the left-hand side of midfield and Kike Seno providing pace and some trickery on the other flank. Randy and Sipo will sit in midfield, with Ivan Zarandona slotting in at right-back. TEAM NEWS: Costa opts to keep things fairly consistent in terms of team selection, with Malick Evouna and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being relied on to lead pacey counter attacks. Bruno Ecuele Manga will be key to a clean sheet, while Andre Biyogho Poko should provide plenty of pace and drive from deeper midfield areas. Aaron Ondele gets only his second start of AFCON.