Guinea-Bissau achieved one of the most remarkable qualifications in the 60-year-old Africa Cup of Nations by reaching the 2017 finals, and are scheming more shocks.
Like Botswana, Cape Verde and Niger earlier this decade, Guinea-Bissau mocked the form book with a star-less team to secure the firstCup of Nations appearance.
The unexpected success has propelled the tiny nation from Fifa rankings obscurity to 15th in Africa and 68th in the world. They rose 78 places last year – more than any other country.
Now they are scheming the downfall of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang-inspired hosts Gabon in Libreville this weekend in the African football showcase opener.
Guinea-Bissau is the 150-1 title no-hopers among the foursome, according to international bookmakers, but 68-year-old coach Baciro Cande says he has more shocks in store.
He said , he stressed to AFP after a training session in the capital Bissau, we are not going to Gabon for a holiday.
My squad is composed of 23 proud professional footballers who are thinking only of bringing delight to the people of Guinea-Bissau.
We eliminated former champions Congo and Zambia and can perform even better. The squad will work incessantly to achieve good results.”
National football federation president Manuel Lopes Nascimento is equally hopeful as Guinea-Bissau prepare for the greatest moment in their sporting history.
It is wonderful to compete in the opening match and I am optimistic that we will beat Gabon. We are coming to play good football and put our country on the international football map, he said.
Football success has brought a welcome change of image to a country ranked among the 10 poorest in the world by the United Nations.
Political confusion is common and there have been numerous media reports of the country being a transit point for South American drugs en route to Europe.
A couple of wins over Kenya and a victory and a draw against Zambia secured qualification, with home and away losses to Congo not preventing them finishing top of the table by one point.
The Guinea-Bissau squad consists of 22 footballers based in Europe, mainly with lower league clubs, while striker Frederic Mendy plays in South Korea.
Bocundji Ca, who has lined up for various French clubs, skippers the side and is likely to be busy in Gabon, given his defensive midfield role.
The people of Guinea-Bissau are very excited to watch their team in Afcon cup 2017