BATA: Equatorial Guinea reached the African Nations Cup quarter-finals after second half goals by Javier Balboa and substitute Iban Salvador gave them a 2-0 win over Gabon in a pulsating Group A clash onSunday.
The victory ensured the host nation finished runners-up withfive points and advanced two points adrift of group winners Congo, who edged Burkina Faso 2-1.
Having soaked up incessant pressure throughout the match, Equatorial Guinea took the lead against the run of play after forward Javier Balboa was fouled and then blasted home the spot kick in the 55th minute.
Salvador rounded off a swift break in the closing stages, sweeping home a rebound after Gabon keeper Didier Ovono parried an Emilio Nsue shot straight into his path.
Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper Felipe Ovono was central to their success, having produced a string of superb saves to deny Gabon forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Frederic Bulot.