By Chima Azu
Equitorial Guinea surprised the footballing world by defeating the defending AFCON champions Algeria 1:0 to end Algeria’s 35 games unbeaten record which lasted for over three years.
The Desert Warriors of Algeria needed to win or at least get a draw against Equitorial Guinea after drawing their first game against Sierra Leone to book a place in the next round but that wasn’t the case as the team ranked 114th in the world created one of the biggest upsets of the African Nations Cup.
Equitorial Guinea gave their all on the pitch with dogged defending and also offered a lot going forward. They played bravely and didn’t sit back waiting for wave after wave of Algerian attack, but rather they also created several goal scoring chances of their own. Iban Salvador was a constant threat to the Algerian defense with his skill and trickery. Obiang Obono Estaban broke the hearts of the Algerian’s in the 70th minute after he latched onto a lose ball from a corner to tap in what turned out to be the only goal of the match.
Looking at the array of talents the Algerian’s are blessed with one would believe this game would be a whitewash even before kick-off but the likes of Mahrez (Manchester City), Feghouli (Galatasaray) Bennacer (Ac Milan) etc could not find the back of the net. Algeria are yet to score a goal so far after 180 minutes of football and would not to get at least one in their next game without conceding.
Ivory Coast are currently topping the group with 4 points, Equitorial Guinea with 3 points, Sierra Leone with 2 and Algeria bottom of the table with 1. Their last match against Ivory Coast is now a must win otherwise the defending champions will be out of the competition in the group stage.