The national team faces a new challenge on February 5, in their match against the Ghanian team. The atmosphere is one of confidence because the work is done and Esteban Becker, in the press conference before the match, said that the team thinks only of winning.
The coach of the Nzalang Nacional began by commenting that in less than a month, he has managed to form a young, but ambitious, team: “They thought we would not get past the first stage and we would be thrashed, but we are still alive and in the semifinals. For the humble what we are doing must be a great satisfaction, for David to beat Goliath.”
The road has not been easy and they have had to overcome a team that in theory were much more powerful. “We face the competition and had a first hurdle, Congo, we overcame it. Afterwards there was the sub-champion of Africa, Burkina Faso, we overcame them. Then there was an all or nothing match against Gabon, we overcame it. The first crossroads against Tunisia, we had to win and we won. Every game is a story, but we just thought about winning. We want to continue making history,” says Esteban Becker forcefully.
Regarding the criticism for some arbitration actions, he is also clear: “We feel bad when they say they favor us. In the match against Congo, the annulled one of our legal goals and now no one remembers that. In ninety minutes there must be a difference between the strong and the weak. There is no aid, the players are winning because they deserve it. We are the team that receives fewer goals. It is not a matter of luck, there is a game model, hard work and a method. In less than a month, these players have believed in tactical work a methodology that has led us to victory.”
In relation to the boys of Nzalang, in the near future the coach wants them to all be playing in higher category teams. “We have one player playing in the first division in Portugal, Javier Balboa. He began this CAN sad, but is now happy and that is very important for the team. We have young players on the team who I ask to bring down all the obstacles, they have to reach the top teams. I want all my boys to play in the first division.”
The atmosphere in the camp could not be better, they have managed to form a group with ambition and companionship, as Mbele said: “The atmosphere is tremendous. All the players are Guineans and feel the country. We are happy because we are playing with our brothers.”
And united they will face Ghana with the single thought of victory. The small country that reached the CAN invited as the organizer, and has eliminated Burkina Faso, Gabon and Tunisia, wants to make history and reach the final, where Ivory Coast is waiting for them.
Text and photos: Javier Hernandez
Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office