Esteban Orozco Fernandez of Equatorial Guinea celebrates scoring the opening goal during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon Finals Algeria v Equatorial Guinea at Japoma Stadium in Douala, Cameroon on 16 January 2022 ©Shaun Roy/BackpagePix
Sunday Jan 16, 2022. 23:50
Equatorial Guinea edged out Algeria 1-0 in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group E match at the Japoma Stadium in Cameroon on Sunday night.
The defeat also ended Algeria’s 35-match unbeaten run and it also ended their hopes of breaking Italy’s world record unbeaten run of 37 games.
The Desert Foxes dominated the match from the first whistle with Riyad Mahrez, Youcef Belaili and Baghdad Bounedjah looking lively for the African champions.
Boundjah, who scored the goal which earned Algeria the 2019 AFCON title, hit the back of the net from close range in the 22nd minute, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
The National Thunder grew in confidence as the match progressed and they began threatening the Desert Foxes as Pablo Ganet forced goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi into a fantastic save from a free-kick.
M’Bolhi was then beaten by a rasping shot from Iban Salvador Edu, but the ball narrowly missed the target and the score was 0-0 during the half-time break.
Algeria started the second-half brightly and they came very close to scoring when keeper Jesus Owono produced a great save on the goal-line from Ramy Bensebaini’s glancing header.
The National Thunder took a surprise lead in the 70th minute when Esteban Obiang scored from close range to hand Equatorial Guinea a 1-0 lead after the Algeria defence was exposed.
The goal rattled the North African giants, who launched late attacks and they scored through Youcef Belaili, who beat Owono with a powerful shot, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
Equatorial Guinea then stood firm at the back and ultimately, they secured a famous 1-0 victory over one of the tournament favourites, Algeria on the night.
Guinea 1 (Obiang 70′)
Algeria: M’Bolhi, Mandi, Benlamri (Tahrat 54′), Feghouli (Boulaya 64′), Bendebka (Brahimi 73′), Atal, Bensebaini, Bennacer, Mahrez, Belaili, Bounedjah (Slimani 64′).
Equatorial Guinea: Ngua, Nchama (Miranda 66′), Dicombo, Etoha (Nlava 46′), Salvador (Eneme 90’+2), Nchama, Sam (Hanza 66′), Martinez, Oubina, Fernandez, Comitre.