Equatorial Guinea national football team

The Equatorial Guinea national football team, nicknamed Nzalang Nacional, represents Equatorial Guinea in international football and is controlled by the Equatoguinean Football Federation, a member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Equatorial Guinea
Nickname(s)Nzalang Nacional (National Thunder)
AssociationEquatoguinean Football Federation
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Sub-confederationUNIFFAC
(Central Africa)
Head coachJuan Micha and Casto Nopo
CaptainEmilio Nsue
Most capsFelipe Ovono (40)
Top scorerEmilio Nsue (11)
Home stadiumEstadio de Malabo
FIFA codeEQG
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 134 Increase 10 (27 November 2020)[1]
Highest49 (February 2015)
Lowest195 (December 1998)
Elo ranking
Current 119 Increase 14 (29 November 2020)[2]
Highest107 (31 January 2015)
Lowest187 (March 2003)
First international
 China PR 6–2 Equatorial Guinea 
(China; 23 May 1975)
Biggest win
 Equatorial Guinea 4–0 South Sudan 
(Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; 4 September 2016)
Biggest defeat
 Congo 6–0 Equatorial Guinea 
(Congo; 13 December 1990)
Africa Cup of Nations
Appearances2 (first in 2012)
Best resultFourth place (2015)

The team has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup, but has qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations twice, both as hosts in 2012 and 2015. It reached the quarter-finals of the former and came fourth at the latter.

HistoryEdit

Equatorial Guinea played its first match on 23 May 1975 against China in a friendly, losing 6–2. They did not play another game until entering the 1985 UDEAC Cup in December 1985. They were drawn in a group against the hosts Congo and Central African Republic. They lost 5–0 to the Congo on 9 December and then earned their first draw by drawing 1–1 against the Central African Republic on 14 December. On 16 December, they played a play-off for fifth place against Chad, and lost 3–2 on penalties after a 1–1 draw.[3]

Equatorial Guinea would come in fourth in the 1987 UDEAC Cup, losing on penalties in the third place match to Gabon, even though they only scored one goal throughout the tournament in a 1–1 draw against Chad. They also drew 0–0 against Cameroon. On their next attempt, they got sixth place after losing on penalties against the Central African Republic. The next time Equatorial Guinea played the Central African Republic, in 1999, they won, 4–2. It was Equatorial Guinea's first win.[3]

In the late 2000s, the Equatoguinean Football Federation, along with the Gabonese Football Federation, announced a bid to host the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, against bids from other African nations including Angola, Libya and Nigeria. Equatorial Guinea and Gabon won the right to host the games,[4] and two new stadiums were built in Equatorial Guinea: Estadio de Bata in Bata and Estadio de Malabo in Malabo.[5]

The first game in the 2012 African Cup of Nations was Equatorial Guinea's first in a major international tournament, and resulted in a historic 1–0 win over Libya on 21 January 2012 in the opening game of the tournament. An 87th-minute strike from former Real Madrid winger Javier Balboa earned the victory.[6] In the next game, they secured the qualification for the quarter-finals by beating Senegal 2–1,[7] and finished second in their group after losing 0–1 to Zambia.[8] They progressed to the quarter-finals where they were eliminated by the tournament's runners-up Ivory Coast after losing to The Elephants 3–0 thanks to goals from Didier Drogba and Yaya Touré.[9] Various national side players were praised due to their performances in the tournament, including Javier Balboa, Randy, Ben Konaté and Rui, the latter a part of the Team of the Tournament.[10]

Three years later, Equatorial Guinea organized solely the 2015 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, but on this occasion, it was to replace Morocco, which was the original host. In the opener, they drew 1–1 against Congo, with Emilio Nsue opening the scoring. In the second game, they managed to play out a 0–0 draw with Burkina Faso, the runners-up of the previous edition. With these two results, the Nzalang Nacional had to win against its classic rival Gabon in the third match in order to qualify for the quarter-finals. Equatorial Guinea won 2–0 with goals from Javier Balboa (a penalty kick) and Ibán. As Group A's runner-up, the Equatoguinean national team then defeated Tunisia 2–1 with two goals from Balboa, the first being a penalty kick in the final moments of the regular time, and the second was in extra time. In the semi-final, however, they lost 0–3 to Ghana, and in the match for third place, drew 0–0 against DR Congo, ultimately losing 2–4 on penalties. The country finished the tournament in fourth place, being its best international participation to date and helping it reach a historical 49th position in the FIFA rankings.

Equatorial Guinea continued to fail in every qualification in AFCON as the team did not qualify for 2017 and 2019 editions. Likewise, the team had also failed to qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup. During the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, they were grouped in group J along with powerhouse Tunisia, 2019 AFCON participant Tanzania and North African bedfellow Libya. The Nzalang Nacional performed poorly in their first two games, losing both with one goal margin to Tanzania away and Tunisia at home, and it appeared that Equatorial Guinea would just end up failing as usual as the team had never qualified throughout regular qualification outside hosting the competition twice.[11][12] However, the COVID-19 pandemic led all AFCON qualification suspended until late 2020, when it resumed as Equatorial Guinea faced up against a rising spirit Libyan side that aimed to qualify for the first time since 2012. Despite this, Equatorial Guinea produced an outstanding comeback against Libya in Egypt, beating Libya 3–2 with two late goals by Pedro Obiang and Salomón Obama from being led 1–2 until injury times.[13] The Nzalang Nacional then later hosted the same opponent at home, and like their game in Cairo, the Equatorial Guineans won again, 1–0, by virtual goal from Iban Salvador.[14] Adding with Tunisia managed to beat Tanzania 1–0 in Tunis and drew the same opponent 1–1 in Dar es Salaam, Equatorial Guinea is now having a historic chance to qualify throughout regular qualification for the first time ever in the history, if they can beat Tanzania in the decisive game at home soil.

Naturalised players controversyEdit

In recent years, Equatorial Guinea has courted controversy by recruiting foreign players and giving them citizenship despite having little or no ties to the country. In 2009, South African journalist and FIFA archivist Mark Gleeson wrote that it was undermining the integrity of African football.[15]

In late 2005, and at the request of Ruslán Obiang Nsue, a son of President Teodoro Obiang, Brazilian coach Antônio Dumas recruited several Brazilian players to represent the Equatorial Guinea but the CAF and FIFA turned a blind eye, despite complaints from other nations.

In 2012, having lost the first leg of a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification round 4–0 to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea recruited nine Brazilian players to help overturn the deficit for the second leg. The team did manage to win the match 2–1, but it was not enough to overturn the aggregate and Equatorial Guinea were eliminated from the tournament. DR Congo head coach Claude Le Roy complained that the Equatorial Guinea were acting like the "United Nations of football".

Before the arrival of new coach Andoni Goikoetxea to Malabo, in March 2013, the Equatoguinean board made the squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Cape Verde and again called-up nine Brazilian players.[16] In May 2013, they joined Colombian-born, Ecuadorian-based Jimmy Bermúdez, to who was going to pay him €3,000 for each match he plays.[17]

During the qualifiers, in the series played against Mauritania, the Nzalang Nacional lost 1–0 away and won 3–0 in Malabo, qualifying to the next round to face Uganda. However, the Mauritanian Football Federation Submitted a complaint to CAF about the inclusion of ineligible players by Equatorial Guinea (Some with fake passports and false names), resulting in the expulsion of the Equatorial Guinean team, based on the particular situation of Thierry Fidjeu, while the cases of the other players remained under investigation.

Home stadiumEdit

 
Estadio de Malabo

Equatorial Guinea's home stadium is Estadio de Malabo in Malabo. It can hold up to 15,250 people. Equatorial Guinea played there when they hosted the 2012 African Cup of Nations During their participation in the tournament, they played in this stadium against eventual winners Zambia and runners-up the Ivory Coast. During the national side's participation in the 2012 African Cup of Nations, they also played in the newly constructed Estadio de Bata, in which they played and won both their games in the stadium against Libya and Senegal.[5]

Kit and colorsEdit

Equatorial Guinea wears a red and white uniform. The kit manufacturer is Errea. When they play in Equatorial Guinea, they wear a solid red jersey and matching shorts with white stripes. The number, FEGUIFUT logo, and Adidas logo are located on the chest. The socks are red with white at the top.[18] When Equatorial Guinea is away, they wear all white shirt with blue stripes.

AchievementsEdit

2006

World Cup recordEdit

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 to
  1998
Did not enter Did not enter
    2002 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 2 5
  2006 2 1 0 1 1 2
  2010 6 1 0 5 4 10
  2014 8 1 2 5 9 17
  2018 2 1 0 1 1 2
  2022 To be determined To be determined
      2026
Total 0/21 20 4 2 14 17 36

Africa Cup of Nations recordEdit

Africa Cup of Nations record
Host nation(s) / Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA
  1957 to   1968 Part of   Spain
  1970 to   1986 Not affiliated to CAF
  1988 Withdrew
  1990 Did not qualify
  1992 to   1994 Did not enter
  1996 Withdrew
  1998 to     2000 Did not enter
  2002 to   2010 Did not qualify
    2012 Quarter-finals 7th 4 2 0 2 3 5
  2013 Did not qualify
  2015 Fourth place 4th 6 2 3 1 5 5
  2017 to   2019 Did not qualify
  2021 To be determined
  2023
  2025
Total Fourth place 2/32 10 4 3 3 8 10

African Nations Championship recordEdit

African Nations Championship
Appearances: 1
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA
  2009 Did not qualify
  2011
  2014
  2016
  2018 Group stage 15th 3 0 0 3 1 7
  2020 Did not qualify
  2022 To be determined
Total Group stage 1/6 3 0 0 3 1 7

Recent schedule and resultsEdit

The following is a list of match results from the previous 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss

2020Edit

11 November 2021 AFCONQ Libya   2–3   Equatorial Guinea Cairo, Egypt
21:00 UTC+2
Report
Stadium: Al Salam Stadium[note 1]
Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
15 November 2021 AFCONQ Equatorial Guinea   1–0   Libya Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
20:00 UTC+1 Salvador   27' Report Stadium: Estadio de Malabo
Referee: Norman Matemera (Zimbabwe)

2021Edit

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following players had been called up for two 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification Group J matches against Libya on 11 and 15 November 2020.[19]

Caps and goals updated as of 15 November 2020 after the match against Libya.[20]

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Jesús Owono (2001-03-01) 1 March 2001 (age 19) 3 0   San Ignacio
13 1GK Aitor Embela (1996-04-17) 17 April 1996 (age 24) 5 0   Atlético Saguntino
22 1GK Marcos Ondo (2000-08-13) 13 August 2000 (age 20) 1 0   Cano Sport

3 2DF Igor Engonga (1995-01-04) 4 January 1995 (age 25) 23 1   Futuro Kings
5 2DF Cosme Anvene (1990-03-03) 3 March 1990 (age 30) 7 0   Deportivo Unidad
11 2DF Basilio Ndong (1999-01-17) 17 January 1999 (age 21) 17 0   Westerlo
12 2DF Miguel Nzang (1990-07-27) 27 July 1990 (age 30) 8 0   Futuro Kings
15 2DF Carlos Akapo (captain) (1993-03-12) 12 March 1993 (age 27) 16 1   Cádiz
20 2DF Marvin Anieboh (1997-08-26) 26 August 1997 (age 23) 1 0   Cacereño
21 2DF Esteban Obiang (1998-05-07) 7 May 1998 (age 22) 6 0   Sant Rafel
23 2DF Luis Meseguer (1999-09-07) 7 September 1999 (age 21) 8 1   Zamora

2 3MF Miguel Ángel Mayé (1995-12-08) 8 December 1995 (age 24) 5 0   Futuro Kings
4 3MF Fede Bikoro (1996-03-17) 17 March 1996 (age 24) 24 1   Numancia
7 3MF Jordan Nsang (1998-07-08) 8 July 1998 (age 22) 7 0   Leganés B
8 3MF Pedro Obiang (1992-03-27) 27 March 1992 (age 28) 9 3   Sassuolo
10 3MF José Machín (1996-08-14) 14 August 1996 (age 24) 10 0   Monza
14 3MF Kike Boula (1993-07-17) 17 July 1993 (age 27) 30 0   Futuro Kings
16 3MF Federico Nsué (1997-04-20) 20 April 1997 (age 23) 2 0   Cano Sport
18 3MF Valeriano Nchama (1995-06-18) 18 June 1995 (age 25) 8 0   Manzanese

6 4FW Iban Salvador (1995-12-11) 11 December 1995 (age 24) 23 3   Fuenlabrada
9 4FW Salomón Obama (2000-02-04) 4 February 2000 (age 20) 5 1   Dibba Al-Fujairah
17 4FW José Boacho (1998-07-22) 22 July 1998 (age 22) 19 2   Getafe B
19 4FW Pedro Oba Asu (2000-05-18) 18 May 2000 (age 20) 8 1   Futuro Kings

Recent call-upsEdit

The following players have been called up in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Felipe Ovono (1993-07-26) 26 July 1993 (age 27) 40 0   Futuro Kings v.   Libya, 11 November 2020 INJ


MF Emilio Nsué (1989-09-30) 30 September 1989 (age 31) 23 11   APOEL v.   Libya, 11 November 2020 CVD
MF Jannick Buyla (1998-10-06) 6 October 1998 (age 22) 3 0   Zaragoza v.   Libya, 11 November 2020 CVD
MF Rubén Belima (1992-02-11) 11 February 1992 (age 28) 21 0 Unattached v.   Libya, 11 November 2020 PRE
MF Pablo Ganet (1994-11-04) 4 November 1994 (age 26) 19 2   Kazma v.   Libya, 11 November 2020 PRE
MF Nico Kata (1993-01-15) 15 January 1993 (age 27) 13 0   Montañesa v.   Libya, 11 November 2020 PRE

Notes:

  • (PRE) Preliminary squad
  • (RET) Retired from the national team
  • (INJ) Injured
  • (REJ) Rejected the call up

CoachesEdit

Coaches of local-based national teamEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Libya has played their home match outside Libya due to security concerns from the ongoing civil war.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 27 November 2020. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Equatorial Guinea - List of International Matches". rsssf.com. RSSSF. 5 June 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Angola to host 2010 Nations Cup". bbc.co.uk. BBC Sport. 4 September 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2006.
  5. ^ a b "Nuevo Estadio de Malabo". stadiumguide.com. The Stadium Guide. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Balboa dá vitória à Guiné Equatorial" [Balboa gives the victory to Equatorial Guinea]. abola.pt. A Bola. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Africa Cup of Nations: Equatorial Guinea in quarters as Senegal crash out". bbc.co.uk. BBC Sport. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Africa Cup of Nations: Zambia book quarter-final slot". bbc.co.uk. BBC Sport. 29 January 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  9. ^ "Ivory Coast 3−0 Equatorial Guinea". espn.com. ESPN. 4 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  10. ^ "Orange CAN 2012 Best XI". cafonline.com. Confédération Africaine de Football. 12 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  11. ^ https://www.goal.com/en-tza/news/afcon-2021-qualifiers-tanzania-didnt-collapse-against-equatorial-/n6mx5m4acy4f1tktczmp72azl
  12. ^ https://www.europasur.es/deportes/algecirascf/Alavedra-Ganet-cara-cruz-Algeciras_0_1411359431.html
  13. ^ https://www.cafonline.com/total-africa-cup-of-nations/2021/news/equatorial-guinea-leaves-it-late-to-beat-libya-in-cairo
  14. ^ https://www.libyaobserver.ly/sports/libya-loses-1-0-equatorial-guinea
  15. ^ "African football's integrity is undermined, by Mark Gleeson". WorldSoccer.com. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Volante Neto é convocado pela Seleção de Guiné Equatorial" [Midfielder Neto is called for the national team of Equatorial Guinea] (in Portuguese). Barretos Esporte Clube. 10 March 2013. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  17. ^ "Archived copy" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Equatorial Guinea ANC Puma Home Shirt 2012". Football Shirts. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ "FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Qualifiers - Africa - Matches - South Sudan - Equatorial Guinea - FIFA.com". www.fifa.com.

External linksEdit