Wednesday Oct 06, 2021. 11:00
Equatorial Guinea face a key home clash in Group B of Africa’s 2022 World Cup Qualifiers when they host Zambia at Estadio de Malabo on Thursday 7 October 2021, kick-off at 18:00 CAT.
EG opened their group stage campaign with a mixed pair of results last month, suffering a 3-0 loss away to heavyweights Tunisia before a 1-0 home win over Mauritania. The results left them in third place on the log on three points.
Zambia are one place above them, also on three points, after they recorded a 2-1 away win over Mauritania and a 2-0 home loss at the hands of the Carthage Eagles, who top the group with a full haul of six points and look capable of running away with proceedings.
Nzalang Nacional manager Juan Micha will be hoping to make the most of home advantage, but will have to do so without the services of Pedro Obiang, who is struggling with a lung condition that has ruled him out of competitive football indefinitely.
“He had personally told me that he had a health problem that would leave him out of the field as a precaution. We know how important Pedro is for the fans and for his work in the national team, we hope that he will come back very soon,” said Micha.
Zambia coach Beston Chambishi, meanwhile, has been plotting a path to gain six points from their two matches against Equatorial Guinea.
“We will base our strengths on the first game that we are going to play and then we will pick one or two things from the first leg to take into the final leg,” said the Chipolopolo boss. “It is a fixture that we cannot run away from, we have to go for it. All we have to do now is plan well and see to it that we play well in these two fixtures.”
In head-to-head stats, Equatorial Guinea and Zambia have met in just one previous match: Chipolopolo triumphed 1-0 in an Africa Cup of Nations group stage game played in Malabo in January 2012, with Chris Katongo scoring the goal. Zambia famously went on to win that AFCON tournament.
The other Group B match on Thursday sees Tunisia host Mauritania in Rades, with kick-off at 21:00 CAT.