Algeria 0 – 1 Equatorial Guinea


Esteban Obiang scored 20 minutes from time as Equatorial Guinea pulled off one of the great Africa Cup of Nations finals upsets with a 1-0 win over Algeria on Sunday.

The shock Group E result leaves Algeria bottom of the standings and needing a win in their last group game against the Ivory Coast on Thursday to stand any chance of advancing.

Obiang struck from a corner as the tiny nation of 1.4 million ended Algeria’s run of 35 unbeaten internationals, inflicting their first defeat since October 2018.

Sunday’s defeat also means they fall short of Italy’s record of 37-match unbeaten streak set last year.

Algeria only have a point going into their final match against group leaders Ivory Coast, who drew 2-2 against Sierra Leone earlier on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Equatorial Guinea are on three points and now have a chance to win the group when they face Sierra Leone in their last game on Thursday.

Equatorial Guinea had been given little chance but battled gamely and took a rare opportunity when Josette Miranda flicked a corner across the face of the Algerian goal and defender Obiang struck the ball home at the back post.

Algeria captain Riyad Mahrez is yet to score at this year’s AFCON

At times the minnows survived precariously, although Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez was largely ineffective.

Algeria had the ball in the net after 23 minutes as Baghdad Bounedjah netted from close range but he was ruled offside. Mahrez, whose header was stopped on the line before Bounedjah followed up, had strayed offside in the build-up.

Equatorial Guinea, with their coach Juan Micha back on the bench after recovering from COVID-19, were mostly on the back foot but made two good chances for themselves in the first half. First was a free-kick from Pablo Gannet that was cleverly struck towards the near post and almost caught out goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi.

The second a rasping left-footed drive from Iban Salvador five minutes before the break that went narrowly wide.

Algeria had another chalked off for offside in the final 15 minutes when Youcef Belaili struck a powerful shot.

The holders ran out of ideas at the end and looked to give up, sparking frenzied celebrations for Equatorial Guinea on the final whistle.

What’s next?

Both nations complete their AFCON Group E campaigns on Thursday, January 20. Algeria face Ivory Coast, while Equatorial Guinea take on Sierra Leone. Both fixtures kick off at 4pm and will be available to watch live across Sky Sports.

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