January 21, (THEWILL) – Equatorial Guinea followed Ivory Coast in reaching the TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations knockout stages after a 1-0 win over Sierra Leone thanks to a Pablo Ganet goal.
Both teams knew that a win in Limbe would advance them to the next round, and Equatorial Guinea had been pounding on the door for a while until Iban Salvador’s shot was cleared off the line.
In the 38th minute, a smart free-kick routine freed Ganet for a free shot from the edge of the penalty box and he hammered a precise shot just inside the right post with no one closing him down, putting control of their AFCON destinies in their hands.
Sierra Leone’s Steven Caulker went close with a header that flew a foot wide of the left post early in the second half, before Dorian Hanza missed a chance to extend Equatorial Guinea’s advantage by blazing over from close range.
Sierra Leone had a chance to save the game when Ganet sent Issa Kallon to the ground in the 85th minute, but Kamara’s spot-kick was pushed behind by the amazingly excellent Jesus Owono in between the sticks for Equatorial Guinea.
As the game progressed, the Sierra Leone team’s discipline deteriorated, and Kwame Quee was sent off for a foul on Ganet before the final whistle.
The result means that Equatorial Guinea finished second in Group E, behind Ivory Coast, which defeated Algeria 3-1.