In a shocking turn of events, Equatorial Guinea delivered a stunning 4-0 thrashing to Ivory Coast, securing their place in the AFCON knockouts as Group A winners. The hosts, Ivory Coast, now face an uncertain fate as they finished third in the group and must rely on other results to qualify for the last 16.
Equatorial Guinea’s captain, Emilio Nsue, played a pivotal role in the historic win, scoring a brace along with goals from Pablo Ganet and substitute Yannick Buyla. Nsue’s first goal came in the 42nd minute, breaking the deadlock and setting the stage for Equatorial Guinea’s dominant performance.
Ivory Coast’s Ibrahim Sangare and Jean-Philippe Krasso had goals disallowed due to offside decisions after VAR checks. Despite some promising moments from Ivory Coast, they failed to capitalize on chances, and Equatorial Guinea seized the opportunity with clinical finishing.
The turning point came in the 73rd minute when Ganet curled in a spectacular free-kick, followed by Nsue’s second goal just two minutes later. Buyla’s late strike in the 88th minute completed the rout, leaving the Ivory Coast in disarray and their qualification hopes in jeopardy.
Equatorial Guinea’s triumph marks one of the biggest upsets in AFCON history, securing their place as Group A winners. Meanwhile, Ivory Coast must anxiously await the conclusion of other group matches to determine if their three points and goal difference of -3 are enough to advance as one of the four best third-placed teams.
Equatorial Guinea will proceed to the round of 16 with confidence, set to play their match on January 28, while Ivory Coast’s once-promising AFCON journey now hangs in the balance.