So the dream continues. The Nzalang have navigated their way safely through the group stage thanks to euphoric victories over Senegal and Libya and a disappointing defeat to Zambia. The Elephants from the Ivory Coast, the strong favourites to win the tournament now wait for the boys in red on Saturday.
The levels of anticipation couldn’t be any higher in the capital, Malabo, where the game will be played to a packed stadium.
The last 10 festive days have whipped the country up into a near delirious state. Few could have expected such a festival of football or the delicious victories, which have planted a surreal sense of optimism in the team, especially given its lowly ranking at 151 in the world. The enthusiasm behind the team has made a mockery of the rankings and the momentum behind the Nzalang has invaded the small nation, now totally focused on the next game.
Surely they won’t be able to pull off the shock of beating the team led by Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Kolo Toure and Yaya Toure?
Together these football superstars earn more in a week at Chelsea and Manchester City than the entire Nzalang first team earns in a year.
The generous $1m bonus paid to the Nzlang for their extraordinary victory over Libya is a weekly occurrence for these four premier league superstars.
The odds are stacked against the Nzalang but who would bet against another miracle. Through application anything is possible and its the ‘can-do’ attitude that has invaded the country that has been the most incredible result in this topsy-turvy tournament.