The Nzalang Nacional lost by three goals to zero against the national team of Ghana, in a match played in the New Stadium of Malabo. After this loss, the national team will have the fight for third place against the Democratic Republic of Congo, while the final will be played by the teams from Ghana and Ivory Coast. At eight minutes from the end, the match had to be stopped due to objects being thrown from the stands.
The national team of Equatorial Guinea against showed its competitive nature and, against the strong Ghana, managed to have a good first half, which went up in air at minute 41, when Jordan Ayew transformed a penalty committed by Ovono on the player Appiah. Two minutes later it was Wakaso who finalized a counter-attack of Atsu, leaving the match with a clear advantage for the Black Stars.
Too much punishment for the Nzalang, who had managed to control Ghana and who even had had some opportunities to score. The Ghanaians made their first strike between the three poles in the penalty shot.
The boys of Esteban Becker went out for the second half to try to equal the score, and Iban Edu had the chance at ten minutes, after a good play by Nsue, but his shot went outside.
Ghana was settling its play and imposing its physical power. Various opportunities were available until Appiah took a clearance from Ovono, and his pass was finished by Andre Ayew, to mark the third goal.
Lacking seven minutes, the negative note reached the match. The fans of Ghana invaded the pitch motivated by the throwing of objects from the stands. The match had to be suspended for more than thirty minutes, while part of the Equatoguinean fins were evicted and the Ghanaian followers placed in a new location.
During the incidents, the players and coaches of the Nzalang maintained an exemplary behavior and addressed the stands, even putting their safety in danger, to ask those who were throwing objects to stop doing so. Finally, thanks to the willingness of the trainer and the players of Ghana, and after different consultations with the members of the African Football Confederation (CAF), the match could be finished.
In the later press conference, Esteban Becker congratulated the Ghanaian team and stated that although the Nzalang had tried, the Ghanaians had been better: “I don’t like to justify myself in the referees. Ghana was superior, but I am proud of my players and of what Equatorial Guinea has done in reaching the semi-finals.”
Asked about the incidents, the Nzalang coach showed sadness for the attitude of this part of the fans.
For his part, Emilio Nsue congratulated Ghana for its game and recognized the superiority shown during the match. He also apologized for the incidents that occurred.
Finally, the coach affirmed that his hope is that the group continues working together. “No one believed that we would reach this point. Now we have one more match and between third and fourth place, I prefer to be third.”
Text: Javier Hernandez
Photos: Mansueto Loeri Bomohagasi (D. G. Base Internet)
Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office