The hosts have qualified for the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations; Equatorial Guinea defeated Gabon 2-0 in a crucial encounter and they go through as Group A runner-up, behind the Red Devils.

The first half of this highly anticipated match was rather uneventful, except for Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's powerful header, which was stopped by Equatorial Guinea's goal keeper Felipe Ovono. Gabon did not play to their potential and the National Thunder did not make their possession pay as they were let down by a lack of imagination.

Gabon threatened with two efforts early in the second-half, as they started the period quicker than the National Thunder, but both were saved by Felipe Ovono. Performance of the Equatorial Guinea's 21-year-old goal keeper has been remarkable during this match and throughout the tournament.

The Panthers were supposedly meant to be a much stronger outfit then the hosts, but after not being able to break through, they began to play for a draw which would have been enough for them to qualify for the quarters, but their tactics back-fired as the National Thunder made a breakthrough. Their striker Javier Balboa, who plays for Portuguese club G. D. Estoril Praia, made it 1-0 with a 55th minute penalty, after he got fouled by Lloyd Palun.

The tournament hosts doubled their lead in the 86th minute, when substitute Salvador Iban headed in a rebound from Emilio Nsue's shot. Iban, 19 - year -old Valencia B forward, was born in Barcelona, but is eligible to play for the country. He had his international debut at the beginning of January and was the star of the match when he sealed a 2-0 win for the National Thunder.

The home fans went frenzy after the final whistle - the outsiders, who were qualified for the tournament by accepting to host the Cup, are staying on; they have eliminated the Panthers who were seen as much stronger team!

The accomplishment is even more remarkable considering that the hosts only appointed their national coach Esteban Becker 11 days before the start of the tournament; the Argentine was coaching Equatorial Guinea women's team.