Equatorial Guinea caused one of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023’s upsets with a 4-0 annihilation of tournament hosts in their Group A match on Monday.
Nzalang Nacional produced a seismic shock in world football by thrashing the Elephants in the game played at Ebimpe’s Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium.
In one of the competition’s greatest upsets, the minnows ripped apart the fancied Ivorians thanks to a Emilio Nsue double and goals from Pablo Ganet and Jannick Buyla.
Nsue’s brace extended his lead on the goalscoring charts to five along with firther strikes by Pablo Ganet and Jannick Bulya that saw Equatorial Guinea stun the world of football.
The Nzalang Nacional advance to the knock out stage of the tournament as they finish top of the group even though they are level on seven points with second-placed Nigeria.
The result leaves the home side’s chances of progessing to the knock-out phase hnaging by a thread as they finish third place in Group A.
As expected, the Elephants with the backing of the crowd got off to a a better start but a lack of accuracy in front of goal saw them miss a number of clear-cut goalscoring opportunities which they later regretted.
The inform Nsue found the back of the net with a neat finish from close range on the 41st minute to send his side into the lead ahead of the recess.
Coming into the second stanza, the Elephants pressed for the lead but were denied by Equatorial Guinea, with two of their goals also denied by VAR.
The Elephants’ momentum was then broken by a wonder strike in the 72nd minute Pablo Ganet who’s well taken free-kick found the top corner of the net to double the lead.
The lead was further stretched immediately after the restart after Nsue finished off a quick counterattack to make it three.
The final nail in the coffin was hammered by Jannick Buyla who finished off a rebounded effort to make seal an emphatic win for his side.
The humiliating defeat means the Elephants must now wait to discover if they have progressed to the knock out phase of the tournament.
But for Equatorial Guinea, this famous four-goal demolition top Group A ahead of their highly fancied opponents Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire.
Having lowered the boast of one of Africa’s strongest sides, the minnows from central Africa have suddenly emerged as giant-killers.
“We knew that the opponent had a lot of pressure, we took that into account when putting our strategy in place. With our humility, we made the effort to reach as far as possible. We are working to reach the level of the big guys. What we want is to do our job, believe in ourselves and try to win every time”.
“Regarding Cote d’Ivoire, I am hurt because it is the organizing country but it is football. I believe that the objective is to go through the different stages until the end. We must forget this match and plan for the rest of the competition.
“There are sometimes nightmare matches, matches where everything seems to be against you. We conceded a goal in the first half on the opponent’s only opportunity. We score goals which are disallowed, we have witnessed a perfect disaster. We have three points, we won a match, the four best third places are qualified, we will hope.
“We have an efficiency problem. In 180 minutes, we didn’t score a goal and yet we made substitutes to have more attackers. Today the result was catastrophic, I know that I am the main responsible person”.