Equatorial Guinea required two goals from Javier Balboa and Iban Salvador ensured the hosts qualify for the quarter finals in the last group A stage round.

Gabon only needed a point from the final group game to go through having won 2-0 in their opener against Burkina Faso, but were condemned to 3rd position with 3 points after Congo edged Burkina Faso 2-1.

Jorge Costa’s Gabon came close with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang meeting Frederic Bulot’s cross with a downward header but Equatorial Guinea keeper Felipe Ovono saved.

Ovono parried away Gabon’s effort yet again when he showed great agility to repel a left-footed free-kick from Bulot that looked destined for the top corner.

In the 55th minute, referee Noumandiez Doue pointed to the spot for a controversial penalty for the hosts after after Gabon’s Lloyd Palun had stuck out a leg and Javier Balboa did not disappoint delivering the spot kick.

Didier Ovono also denied Equatorial Guinea’s Balboa a second,but Iban Salvador confirmed the hosts progress to the quarter finals with a close-range finish four minutes from time sending the home crowd into a frenzy.

Deputy Editor at Kawowo Sports. He is an aspiring Sport Psychologist.

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