Guinea have said they thank God they will play Saturday’s AFCON quarterfinal against Ghana after they proved luckier than Mali in the drawing of lots on Thursday.
Both West African teams finished equal on points and goals difference after they played out a 1-1 in Mongomo on Wednesday and it need a draw of lots to determine the team to advance to the last-eight.
Guinea skipper Kamil Zayatte said they prayed before the draw and believed God heard their prayers.
“We were waiting for it but we didn’t believe in it. We already struggled so much during the qualifiers. And here, we hold Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Mali and we are told that it will all be down to a draw of lots,” Zayette recalled.
“Before the outcome, we all prayed together and I believe God hear us. God didn’t let us down, he has always been with us and he showed it today.”
Guinea defender Baissama Sankoh said it was crucial for his country to stay on in this competition despite the Ebola Virus Disease that has ravaged their country for more than a year.
“I am happy we made it through. It was important to show all the African teams that we are here, that Guinea are here despite Ebola,” he said.
“We always fought and today it is for the Guinean people that we qualify.
“It has been a short night. We didn’t sleep a lot. We thought about the qualification, we thought about the draw of lots and it was not easy at all.
“Thanks to God, we qualified for the next round. We need to be very focused against Ghana.”