Equatorial Guineas decision to gamble and use the power player option in the final two and a half minutes of the game backfired on their faces as they conceded a late goal to lose 2 1 to Libya and bow out of the competition.
Adham Mustafa Altoumi scored the winner when Libya turned back possession almost immediately after Equatorial Guinea introduced their power player to pick three vital points and progress to the last four.
It was a full contest between the two sides as they came into their final match of the group each knowing a win would propel them into the last four.
Equatorial Guineas Vicente Bualo had two chances early in the game with shots taken from distance but both were saved. Skipper Roberto Tobe also tried his luck with one of his trademark shots with a quick drift, but the Libyan keeper was always hawk eyed.
The Libyans also had an effort at goal, Mohamed Suleiman Ghaebs stinging freekick being parried away by the keeper. But the North Africans grabbed the lead, Mohamed Abo Ras heading home from the edge of the arch.
But with three and a half minutes left to play, Equatorial Guinea bounced back with a beautiful goal by Ubenga. The lanky mans silky footwork left his markers on the floor on the left before playing a quick one two with Domingo Manami, coming into the end of the move with a simple tap in.
The second half was a tough contest and Equatorial Guineas Bualo made a massive goal line clearance just after the restart to deny Mohamed Suleiman whose shot had skipped over the keeper.
With five minutes to go, Libya had a great chance to score the winner when they hit the Equatoguineans on the counter, but Junior Wheeler made a brilliant save to tackle Ali Ibrahim just as he prepared to pull the trigger with only the keeper to beat.
But Equatorial Guinea would pay for their gamble, going for five players in the field with the power player option. Hamdi Alshawain turned back possession, teed up Altoumi who in turn scored with a gaping goalmouth from inside his own half.
Equatorial Guinea maintained the power player option, but couldnt harvest any rewards from the gamble.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF)