Javier Balboa scored in the 86th minute to give co-hosts Equatorial Guinea a surprise 1-0 win over Libya in the opening match of the African Nations Cup on Saturday.
Balboa was sent clear by an incisive pass from substitute Daniel Ekedo and sidefooted the ball confidently past goalkeeper Samir Aboud.
Equatorial Guinea, making their debut in the finals, were unlucky not to score in the first half when Ivan Bolado had a goal controversially disallowed for offside after the ball slipped through Aboud's arms.
Equatorial Guinea's agriculture minister Teodoro Nguema, the son of the small, oil-rich country's president, told players he would give them 500 million CFA to share if they won and a further 10 million CFA (about $20,000) for each goal scored, the country's official government website.
Libya's improbable qualification for the 16-team tournament, which came against the odds and in the midst of the turmoil of the overthrow last year of Muammar Qaddafi's regime, has made the players a potent symbol in the rebuilding of their country and given their task at the tournament a greater weight.
The symbolism of the Libyan cause and the home country's lavish gesture overshadow the second Group A game that will follow at the newly-built Nkoantoma stadium in Bata (2100).
The meeting between Senegal and Zambia, both impressive in qualifying, could well decide the top place in the group.