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Equatorial Guinea national football team

The Equatorial Guinea national football team, nicknamed Nzalang Nacional, is the national team of Equatorial Guinea and is controlled by the Equatoguinean Football Federation. It is a member of Confederation of African Football (CAF). Though Equatorial Guinea has traditionally been one of the lowest ranked teams in Africa, the recent influx of Spanish-born players of Equatoguinean heritage has strengthened the national team and resulted in some solid performances. They qualified as co-hosts for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The hosting of the tournament lead to the construction of two new football stadia in the country: Estadio de Bata in Bata on the mainland, and Estadio de Malabo in Malabo. The national team managed a creditable fourth place at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, which was held in Equatorial Guinea.

Equatorial Guinea
Nickname(s)Nzalang Nacional (National Thunder)
AssociationEquatoguinean Football Federation
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Sub-confederationUNIFFAC
(Central Africa)
Head coachJuan Obiang Ndong
CaptainEmilio Nsue
Most capsRandy (36)
Top scorerEmilio Nsue (10)
Home stadiumNuevo Estadio de Malabo
FIFA codeEQG
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 143 Increase 5 (4 April 2019)[1]
Highest49 (February 2015)
Lowest195 (December 1998)
Elo ranking
Current 124 Decrease 2 (27 March 2019)[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

Contents

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 Nuevo 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.

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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13]

During the qualifiers for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, in the series played against Mauritania, the nation lost 1–0 away and won 3–0 in Malabo as hosts, sorting to the next round to face Uganda. However, the Mauritanian Football Federation demanded, before the CAF, for the inclusion of ineligible players to play with Nzalang Nacional (Some with 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

 
Nuevo Estadio de Malabo

Equatorial Guinea's home stadium is Nuevo 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 Adidas. 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.[14] 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 To be determined To be determined
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   1986 Did not enter
  1988 Withdrew
  1990 Did not qualify
  1992 Did not enter
  1994 Did not enter
  1996 Withdrew
  1998 Did not enter
    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 Did not qualify
  2019
  2021 To be determined
  2023 To be determined
  2025 To be determined
Total Fourth place 2/32 10 4 3 3 8 10

Results and future fixturesEdit

2018Edit

2019Edit

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following players were selected for a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match against Sudan on 22 March 2019.[15]

Caps and goals updated as of 25 March 2019 after the match against Saudi Arabia.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Jesús Owono (2001-03-01) 1 March 2001 (age 18) 1 0   Alavés Juvenil A
13 1GK Aitor Embela (1996-04-17) 17 April 1996 (age 23) 3 0   Logroñés Promesas
25 1GK Felipe Ovono (1993-07-26) 26 July 1993 (age 25) 29 0   Mekelle City

3 2DF Igor Engonga (1995-01-04) 4 January 1995 (age 24) 13 1   Almería B
4 2DF Rui (1985-05-28) 28 May 1985 (age 33) 31 1   Villarrubia
5 2DF Diosdado Mbele (1997-04-08) 8 April 1997 (age 22) 22 0   Akonangui
7 2DF Rubén Belima (1992-02-11) 11 February 1992 (age 27) 14 0   Estoril
11 2DF Basilio Ndong (1999-01-17) 17 January 1999 (age 20) 10 0   Shkupi
12 2DF Cristián (1990-07-27) 27 July 1990 (age 28) 5 0   Deportivo Niefang
16 2DF Saúl Coco (1999-02-09) 9 February 1999 (age 20) 3 0   Horta
15 2DF Cosme (1990-03-03) 3 March 1990 (age 29) 5 0   Deportivo Unidad
21 2DF Esteban Orozco (1998-05-07) 7 May 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Utrera
23 2DF Luis Meseguer (1999-09-07) 7 September 1999 (age 19) 3 0   Rayo Vallecano B

8 3MF Pedro Obiang (1992-03-27) 27 March 1992 (age 27) 3 1   West Ham United
9 3MF Nico Kata (1993-01-15) 15 January 1993 (age 26) 8 0   Valencia Mestalla
14 3MF Kike Boula (1993-07-17) 17 July 1993 (age 25) 22 0   Ermis
19 3MF Charly (1990-02-18) 18 February 1990 (age 29) 0 0   Mora
22 3MF Pablo Ganet (1994-11-04) 4 November 1994 (age 24) 13 1   Algeciras
24 3MF Sergi Perelló (1996-12-16) 16 December 1996 (age 22) 0 0   Mallorca B

6 4FW Iban Salvador (1995-12-11) 11 December 1995 (age 23) 17 2   Celta B
10 4FW Emilio Nsue (captain) (1989-09-30) 30 September 1989 (age 29) 18 10 Unattached
17 4FW Josete Miranda (1998-07-22) 22 July 1998 (age 20) 13 1   Getafe B
18 4FW Jordan Nsang (1998-07-08) 8 July 1998 (age 20) 3 0   Horta
20 4FW James Davis (1995-07-05) 5 July 1995 (age 23) 4 0   Iraklis

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 Delfín Ross (1995-02-22) 22 February 1995 (age 24) 0 0   Hadiya Hossana v.   Kenya, 28 May 2018

DF Carlos Akapo (1993-03-12) 12 March 1993 (age 26) 13 1   Huesca v.   Sudan, 22 March 2019INJ
DF Mariano Ondo (1999-06-29) 29 June 1999 (age 19) 4 0   Cano Sport v.   Senegal, 17 November 2018
DF Ildefonso (1995-09-30) 30 September 1995 (age 23) 0 0   Leones Vegetarianos v.   Senegal, 17 November 2018
DF Randy (1987-06-02) 2 June 1987 (age 31) 36 4   Trikala v.   Madagascar, 16 October 2018
DF Federico Obama (2000-02-04) 4 February 2000 (age 19) 0 0   Atlético Madrid Juvenil A v.   Madagascar, 16 October 2018
DF José Riaco (1991-11-26) 26 November 1991 (age 27) 0 0   Móstoles v.   Sudan, 8 September 2018 PRE
DF Luis Enrique Nsue (1998-01-16) 16 January 1998 (age 21) 0 0 Unattached v.   Kenya, 28 May 2018

MF Santiago Eneme (2000-09-29) 29 September 2000 (age 18) 5 0   Nantes U19 v.   Senegal, 17 November 2018
MF Pepín (1996-08-14) 14 August 1996 (age 22) 6 0   Parma v.   Madagascar, 16 October 2018
MF Valeriano Nchama (1995-06-18) 18 June 1995 (age 23) 4 0   Montebelluna v.   Sudan, 8 September 2018
MF Benjamín Edú (1999-03-13) 13 March 1999 (age 20) 1 0   Cano Sport v.   Kenya, 28 May 2018

FW Salomón Obama (2000-02-04) 4 February 2000 (age 19) 3 0   Celta Juvenil A /   Celta B v.   Senegal, 17 November 2018
FW Celesdonio Abeso (1998-08-15) 15 August 1998 (age 20) 1 0   Cano Sport v.   Senegal, 17 November 2018
FW Wenceslao Afugu (1992-09-16) 16 September 1992 (age 26) 1 0   Leones Vegetarianos v.   Senegal, 17 November 2018
FW Gorka Luariz (1992-12-20) 20 December 1992 (age 26) 2 0   Leioa v.   Madagascar, 16 October 2018
FW Amor (2000-02-14) 14 February 2000 (age 19) 3 1   Manzanares Juvenil v.   Madagascar, 16 October 2018
FW Pedro Oba (1996-05-18) 18 May 1996 (age 23) 3 0   Futuro Kings v.   Sudan, 8 September 2018

Notes:

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

CoachesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  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. ^ "African football's integrity is undermined, by Mark Gleeson". WorldSoccer.com. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2013-06-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) (in Spanish)
  14. ^ "Equatorial Guinea ANC Puma Home Shirt 2012". Football Shirts. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  15. ^ "CONVOCATORIA" (PDF) (in Spanish). FEGUIFUT. Retrieved 23 February 2019.

External linksEdit