Equatorial Guinea use great Danes of 1992 as inspiration

Equatorial Guinea
Burkina Faso's Kone challenges Equatorial Guinea's Balboa during their African Cup of Nations soccer match in Bata (Photo: Reuters)
AFP
Saturday 24 Jan 2015
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Hosts Equatorial Guinea are drawing inspiration from Denmark, who won the 1992 European Championship after being reinstated at the last minute, in their Africa Cup of Nations pursuit.

Equatorial Guinea were originally disqualified from the 2015 Nations Cup for fielding an ineligible player, but are now staging the tournament proper as a last-minute replacement for Morocco, who were stripped of their hosting rights after they raised concerns over the outbreak of Ebola in west Africa.

A win against 2012 fellow co-hosts Gabon on Sunday in Bata will guarantee them a place in the last-eight as they have two points from as many matches behind second-placed Gabon, who have three points.

Now they believe they can follow the example of Denmark who were reinstated at the 1992 European championships after Yugoslavia were kicked out and then went on to win the title.

“We were back in this competition only at the last minute, but we want to win on Sunday as to continue in this competition,” said coach Esteban Becker.

“We have the will to win and we like the challenge in front of us. We are hungry for victory.

“Denmark were reinstated in the 1992 European Championship at the last minute and they went on to win it. We want to do that too.”

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo visited the team at their hotel and forward Javier Balboa said that this further galvanised spirits in the squad.

“He came to our hotel to pass on the best wishes of the people,” said the striker who plays for Estoril in Portugal. “The match is a cup final -- we have to win on Sunday.”

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