The match against Gabon was all or nothing, glory or failure. And it was glory for a group that has manages it in nineteen days. They met for the first time on January 6 in Lisbon, with the aim of forming a competitive team that had been undefeated in the group stage. The pressure was high and the triumph sparked the joy of those who have made the people of Equatorial Guinea happy.
With the final whistle from the referee, euphoria broke out among the players. There have been a few intense weeks of work, effort, maximum concentration, because there were not enough days to establish all the tactical outlines that Esteban Becker wants to install in the team. So the victory was a balm that unleashed madness in the locker room of the Nkoantoma Stadium.
The coach was showered, as is tradition, there were shouts, hugs, songs, dances … which continued on the bus on the way to the Rio Ekuku Hotel, where a few bottles of champagne waited for them to toast the victory.
Then the entire team, including the coaches and the heads of the FEGUIFUT went to dinner at the restaurant La Corisqueña, where they were received with flares and uncorking of more champagne. Happiness was high and hugs were shared between all those present and also with the restaurant employees.
The players, with the proper authorization, continued celebrating the victory while the President of the FEGUIFUT, the Presidential Adviser, Antolin Bopa, the directors of the Federation and the coaching staff, stayed watching the images of the Nzalang-Gabon match on television, enjoying a game that has boosted Equatorial Guinea to be among the top eight teams on the continent.
As H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbsogo said to the players, a day before the game, sometimes David, if he tries, can beat Goliath.
Text and photos: Javier Hernandez
Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office