The National Nzalang has achieved a historic victory by winning in the extra time by 2 goals to 1 against the team of Tunisia. The national team played an epic match and managed to reach the semifinals of the CAN 2015. Nothing seems impossible for this team that is willing to break all predictions to reach the grand finale.
The team directed by Esteban Becker began the match with the following eleven players: Ovono, Randy, Rui, Mbele, Sipopo, Doualla, Zarandona, Balboa, Kike Boula, Emilio Nsue and Bosio.
The early stages of the match showed the toughness of the Tunisians, who played with a lot of force, which made the referee deliver the first yellow card of the match in the ninth minute.
During the first half, there were virtually no clear opportunities and we can only emphasize, on the one hand, a great play by Balboa and Nsue, which was not finished off by Kike Boula. On the other hand, a shot by Nsue was cleared from under the goalpost by the defense of Tunisia.
The second half began with a spectacular shot by Akaichi that was stopped by Ovono, and a shot by Khazri, which brushed past the goalpost of Equatorial Guinea. The Nzalang made its first change and Iban Edu substituted Bosio.
The Tunisians began to create danger and at 70 minutes the first goal of the match was scored, when Akaichi finished off a pass from Yaakoubi. Things got very complicated, but this team has enough character to face the biggest challenges.
Becker was risking it by entering Belima and Iban Bolado, replacing Randy and Sipoto. The Nzalang knew that an opportunity would appear, and it did in the form of a big play by Nsue that he finished with power, but that was cleared by the goalkeeper Mathlouthi.
When all seemed lost, in the 90th minute came the key play. Ivan Bolado stole the ball, broke away into the area and was brought down by the Tunisian defense. Without any possible response time, Javier Balboa deceived the goalkeeper, scoring his first goal of the night.
With the 1-1 result, it came down to the extra time, which was completely dominated by the Nzalang. After 12 minutes, a foul against Balboa was taken by the player himself, who got it through a whole squadron of the Tunisian team.
Tunisia had the fifteen minutes of the second half of extra time to level the match but its men, completely unhinged, simply protesting every play, and provoked incidents with the Nzalang players. When the referee blew the final whistle, he had to be protected by the police and the leaders of the CAF from the wrath of the Tunisians, who smashed the doors of the locker room and everything in their path.
Now, in the semifinals, the Nzalang will rival the team that wins the Ghana-Guinea Conakry match. Esteban Becker’s boys have done their work and now have a few days to recover from the great effort they made: the next match, the semifinal, will be next Thursday, February 5, at the New Stadium of Malabo and winning it would give us the pass to the final on February 8.
Text: Javier Hernandez
Photos: Miguel Angel Andjimi (D. G. Base Internet) and Javier Hernandez
Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office