Equatorial Guinea have completed the list of the final eight teams left in the Africa Cup of Nations ongoing in Cameroon.
The ‘National Thunder’ pulled off a shocking victory over the Eagles of Mali to secure a spot among the finest eight on Wednesday night in the final Round 16 clash.
After a goalless draw in normal time, an additional 30 minutes also went by with no goal to be reported, the game was decided by spot kicks.
Equatorial Guinea booked a Knockout spot with a 1-0 surprise win over Algeria as well as a win against Sierra Leone while Mali defeated Tunisia and Mauritania and drew Gambia to top their group with seven points.
The game began with high-tempo but untidy first half and Mali were the first to get a great chance at goal but Leipzig star Amadou Haidara was only able to scuff a weak shot from close range.
Five minutes before the break, the Eagles of Mali were awarded a penalty when Moussa Doumbia clashed with Equatorial Guinea’s Josete Miranda.
However, it was not to be as referee Bakary Gassama reversed his decision after viewing the incident on the pitch-side monitor.
Mali improved further in the second period and Red Bull Salzburg’s Mohamed Camara spurned another opportunity in the 56th minute.
Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma also worked something with Camara getting the ball, but Camara fired over from close to the penalty spot.
Southampton’s Moussa Djenepo also came from the bench and was close to putting the Mali in front but his powerful effort was deflected just wide.
E/Guinea were infact shy of creating chances and only began entering the game when former Middlesbrough and Birmingham defender Emilio Nsue came on as a sub with an hour to go and playing an increasingly influential role as the clock ticked away.
He went on to be a thorn in the flesh of Malian defenders and even got a curling shot over in the last moments of normal time.
Mali keeper Ibrahim Mounkouro was forced into a rare save when Basilio Ndong struck from distance.
After 120 minutes with just a shot on target for both sides, the match went to penalties.
The first taker Emilio Nsue saw his effort saved, but Massadio Haidara’s miss restored parity once again.
Pablo Ganet could have won it for Equatorial Guinea and send them through, but Ibrahim Mounkoro guessed correctly and denied the midfielder to prolong the shootout.
Both sides were perfect from that moment onwards, until Mali centre-back Falaye Sacko stepped up and had his team penalty saved by Jesus Owono, and Equatorial Guinea began wild celebrations immediately the referee confirmed the goalkeeper had not left his line.
Jesus Owono has saved four penalties so far in Cameroon saving twice during the spot kicks.
E/Guinea will go on to play Senegal in the Quarterfinals on Sunday, January 30.