AFCON opener ends all-square

2015-01-17 20:30
Equatorial Guinea's Armando Sipoto Bohale, left, is challenged by Congo's Thievy Bifouma, right (AP)

Bata - Congo striker Thievy Bifouma grabbed a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw to deny hosts Equatorial Guinea a rousing start to the African Nations Cup finals at the Estadio de Bata on Saturday.

They led with a 17th minute goal from English-based captain Emilio Nsue but their defence was finally breached in the 87th, ending the celebrations of a capacity crowd almost exclusively clad in their team's red colours.

The small central African nation, handed a place at the finals after stepping in as emergency hosts, were fortunate to lead as replays showed Nsue was just offside when he scored.

Bifouma earned Congo a deserved draw after outpacing the defence and they might even have got the winner two minutes later but Dominque Malonga squandered a golden chance.

Bifouma, who spent most of the game moaning at the match officials, sped away to place the ball under home goalkeeper Felipe Ovono and just inside the post to stun the crowd.

Substitute Malonga should have secured all three points for Congo on the stroke of full time but fired straight at Ovono from in front of the posts.

The game began with a dramatic goal for the underrated home side as Nsue, a former Spanish under-21 international playing at Middlesbrough, swept in a clever pass from winger Kike after his probing run at the defence to sweep aside all the organisational problems that clouded the build-up to the event.

Equatorial Guinea could have killed the game with the first chance of the second half when Balboa was one-on-one with the keeper but his effort was well saved by Christoffer Mafoumbi.

Balboa also created a chance for Nsue to get behind the opposing defence with a clever chip over the top in the 70th minute but again the effort was thwarted.

Nsue did find the net four minutes later with a clever lob but was wrongly ruled offside.

The home side's failure to extend their lead meant Congo's hopes remained alive and eventually they broke through for the equaliser.

The second Group A game between Burkina Faso and Gabon kicks off at 21:00 (SA time).

Read more on:    equatorial guinea  |  congo  |  afcon 2015  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Bafana Bafana have been drawn with Cameroon, Gambia and Mauritania in the qualification stages for the 2017 AFCON tournament. Where will Shakes Mashaba's men finish in their pool?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.