What the Nzalang experienced in the night of the 31 of January has been engraved in the memory of the people of Equatorial Guinea. In the minute 90 it was losing the match against Tunisia by 1-0. But forty-five minutes later, it was celebrating, with the 40,000 followers of the stadium and with the rest of the Equatoguinean people, a historic victory that catapulted them to the semifinals of the African Cup.
The match against Tunisia was an authentic battle, in which the Tunisians fought with maximum toughness. But the boys of the Nzalang were not intimidated and fought with utmost strength, until they were able to crush the battle-hardened Tunisian players, who finally launched their ire against the referee whom they pursued to the dressing room tunnel with the intention of assaulting him.
Our players meanwhile were celebrating the victory with the all the public present in the Nkoantoma stadium and then in the dressing room showed their joy for the great success signified by being among the four best teams of Africa.
Next the caravan of the Nzalang went to the Hotel Rio Ekuku, where they toasted with champagne for the victory and could watch on television the last minutes of the match they just played. There were congratulations, embraces, photos….many photos, with everyone present there and again in the bus going to the restaurant.
It was past midnight when the players and coaches sat down to eat in company of the members of the Feguifut and the Presidential Advisers, Pedro Mabale Fuga and Antolín Bopa, who accompanied the boys of the Nzalang during their celebration.
Once the dinner was over, the players asked the coaches to return to the hotel, since after the battle experienced against Tunisia, and after a hundred and twenty minutes of maximum tension, they wanted to rest.
Now, a day a rest and again to prepare for the semifinal match. This team is hungry for victories and as the Head of State said: “After the victory against Gabon, I cannot demand anything more, but if you want, you can achieve more victories.” They already have first, now on for the final.
Text and photos: Javier Hernandez
Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office