Guinea head coach Juan Micha has praised his players for their fighting spirit despite going down 1-0 against Guinea to exit the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations at the Round of 16 on Sunday.
Equatorial Guinea came into the clash at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpe with good momentum following their impressive first-place finish in a tough Group A consisting of Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria while Guinea snuck into the round of 16 as one of the four best third finishers of the group stages.
However, they suffered a huge blow when Federico Bikoro was shown a straight red card following a clumsy foul on Bayo. This was after a golden opportunity was presented to Equatorial Guinea just after the hour mark when Ivan Salvador was fouled in the box for the in-form Emilio Nsue to step up but saw his penalty denied by the woodwork to the relief of Guinea.
“I think our team was at a good level. We played until the end. We fought until the end but that’s also football. I congratulate the opposing opponent. I think we had control at the start of the match but when you have a key player sent off; it becomes difficult, especially if you have an opponent who is putting pressure on you,” said Micha.
“They scored a goal in the last minute, which demoralized us but I congratulate my players, they were good in the match.”