Date: January 21st, 2015
Venue: Estadio De Bata
Time: 18:00 (CAT)
Match Result: Equatorial Guinea 0 – 0 Burkina Faso
Goal Scorers: None
The GSV Top Class Award
As members of the GSV team watched the first game of the second round of fixtures, we debated over who would be worthy of our prestigious Top Class Award. The debate was not prolonged by the fact that we were spoilt for choice as to who to hand the award to, but rather by the players’ inability to deliver stand out performances. The two sets of teams failed to inspire, and the attacks conspired to deliver the very first goalless match of the tournament. The two sides cancelled each other out, to make sure that what promised to be an entertaining encounter turned out to be an exercise in patience and observing grass growth. So the Top Class Award, we decided, goes to anyone who managed to watch the full 90 minutes of the match, you my good fan, are a legend.
The GSV Class Clown Award
It comes as no surprise that the GSV Class Clown Award goes to the two sets of teams. In a fixture where a win would have gone a long way towards securing a spot in the next round, neither attack was able to inspire the crowd, or indeed to put the ball in the back of the net. The likes of the Traore duo, Jonathan Pitroipa, Emilio Nsue and Javier Balboa, players we had picked out in the warm up as the men to stand out and carry their teams, crumbled under the pressure, some by being passengers in the game and other by virtue of poor decision-making in the final third. For this, the Equatorial Guinea and Burkina Faso teams deserve the GSV Class Clown Award.
The Grand Stand View
Perhaps the expectations from the fans and the GSV team for a good game were misguided. While we thought winning the game would be the primary objective for both sides, a fear of losing might have heaped pressure on the players, pressure which translated into poor finishing and a failure to launch. The tactical battle between the two managers saw a stalemate ending, but both will look at a draw as a welcome alternative to a loss. With a match to go, Burkina Faso remain bottom of Group A, and will need to demolish Congo-Brazzaville in their last fixture and hope that the result between Gabon and Equatorial Guinea swing in their favour. The draw puts the Equatoguineans in 3rd with 2 points, and they will be working towards a victory against Gabon, a victory which would see them leapfrog the Panthers in the standings.