Africa Cup of Nations - Group E
AlgeriaAlgeria0Equatorial GuineaEquatorial Guinea1

Afcon 2021: Equatorial Guinea stun holders Algeria

By Rob StevensBBC Sport Africa
Algeria players react after Equatorial Guinea score
Algeria, captained by Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez (centre), had drawn 0-0 against Sierra Leone in their first match in Cameroon

Equatorial Guinea stunned Algeria to leave the defending champions on the brink of a group-stage exit from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Esteban Obiang slid in at the far post to convert a flick-on and net the only goal with 20 minutes left in Douala.

Algeria have just one point from their opening two games and must beat Ivory Coast in their final Group E game to have a chance of reaching the last 16.

The north Africans had two goals ruled out in what was a scrappy encounter.

The result ended Algeria's unbeaten run at 35 matches, two short of Italy's world record set last year, as they suffered their first defeat since October 2018.

Equatorial Guinea reached the Nations Cup semi-finals as hosts in 2015 but, having qualified for the tournament by right for the first time, this will go down as one of their biggest results in their history.

Juan Micha's side move on to three points and are second in Group E, with Ivory Coast top on four points, Sierra Leone third on two and Algeria bottom on one.

The tight nature of the group will make Thursday's final round of games fascinating, with the Equatoguineans facing the Leone Stars in Limbe at the same time as Algeria take on Ivory Coast in Douala (16:00 GMT).

Frustration for Mahrez and company

Algeria were held to a goalless draw by Sierra Leone in their opening match and were once again frustrated in front of goal - this time by a side mostly comprised of players from clubs in the lower leagues in Spain.

Youcef Belaili had two attempts blocked by keeper Jesus Owono shortly before the Desert Foxes had the ball in the net for the first time midway through the first half.

Owono made a fine reaction save to keep out Riyad Mahrez's header but Baghdad Bounedjah tapped in the rebound - only for an offside flag against Mahrez to cut Algeria's celebrations short.

Equatorial Guinea then threatened, as Pablo Ganet had a low free-kick clawed away by Rais M'Bolhi and Iban Salvador sent a fierce strike flashing past Algeria's right-hand upright.

Belaili had a shot deflected wide midway through the second half before Josete Miranda helped on Salvador's corner for Obiang to convert for the shock winner.

Esteban Obiang (right) slides in to score for Equatorial Guinea against Algeria
Esteban Obiang (far right) plays his club football for Spanish third-tier side Antequera

Algeria had chances to equalise, with their record goalscorer Islam Slimani miskicking from close range before Belaili's rasping low strike from the edge of the area was then ruled out for offside.

Obiang made a crucial block to shut down an opening for Ramy Bensebaini and the Equatorial Guinea defender subsequently diverted Youcef Atal's cross behind.

The Equatoguineans managed five minutes of injury time well and defeat leaves Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi sweating on their final match against Ivory Coast, with the Elephants not yet assured of progress to the knockout stages themselves.

No country has successfully defended the Nations Cup since Egypt in 2010, and once again questions will be raised about Algeria's performance in sub-Saharan Africa, with two of their players citing the tropical climate as a factor in their opening stalemate.

Equatorial Guinea players celebrate beating Algeria
Equatorial Guinea are ranked 114th in the world - 85 places below Algeria

Line-ups

Algeria

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23M'Bolhi
  • 20Atal
  • 2MandiBooked at 45mins
  • 4BenlamriSubstituted forTahratat 54'minutes
  • 21BensebainiBooked at 8mins
  • 22Bennacer
  • 14BendebkaSubstituted forBrahimiat 73'minutes
  • 7Mahrez
  • 10FeghouliSubstituted forBoulayaat 64'minutes
  • 8BelaïliBooked at 90mins
  • 9BounedjahBooked at 4minsSubstituted forSlimaniat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Tahrat
  • 5Tougai
  • 11Brahimi
  • 12Belkebla
  • 13Slimani
  • 15Boulaya
  • 16Oukidja
  • 19Zorgane
  • 24Chétti
  • 25Benayada
  • 26Amoura
  • 27Benrahma

Equatorial Guinea

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Owono Ngua Akeng
  • 15Akapo Martínez
  • 21Orozco Fernández Obiang ObonoBooked at 90mins
  • 16Coco-Bassey Oubiña
  • 11Owono NchamaBooked at 9mins
  • 22Ganet
  • 8Machín
  • 6Salvador EdúSubstituted forEneme Bocariat 90+2'minutes
  • 4Bikoro Akieme NchamaBooked at 43minsSubstituted forMiranda Boachoat 66'minutes
  • 14Buyla SamSubstituted forHanza Mehaat 66'minutes
  • 9Siafá EtohaBooked at 45minsSubstituted forNlavo Asuéat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Mayé
  • 3Anieboh
  • 5Anvene Ebang Elá
  • 7Belima
  • 12Magno Mba Bicoro
  • 13Sapunga Mbara
  • 17Miranda Boacho
  • 18Hanza Meha
  • 19Nlavo Asué
  • 20Eneme Bocari
  • 24Balboa Bandeira
  • 26Akapo Martínez
Referee:
Mario Escobar

Match Stats

Home TeamAlgeriaAway TeamEquatorial Guinea
Possession
Home69%
Away31%
Shots
Home13
Away8
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home11
Away3
Fouls
Home14
Away24

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Algeria 0, Equatorial Guinea 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Algeria 0, Equatorial Guinea 1.

  3. Post update

    Hand ball by José Machín (Equatorial Guinea).

  4. Booking

    Youcef Belaïli (Algeria) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Booking

    Esteban Obiang (Equatorial Guinea) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Youcef Belaïli (Algeria) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Josete Miranda (Equatorial Guinea).

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Josete Miranda (Equatorial Guinea) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by José Machín.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Pablo Ganet (Equatorial Guinea) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luís Nlavo.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Equatorial Guinea. Santiago Eneme replaces Iban Salvador.

  11. Post update

    Mehdi Tahrat (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Josete Miranda (Equatorial Guinea).

  13. Post update

    Offside, Algeria. Yacine Brahimi tries a through ball, but Youcef Belaïli is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Algeria. Conceded by Esteban Obiang.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ramy Bensebaini (Algeria) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Yacine Brahimi.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Algeria. Conceded by Pablo Ganet.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Youcef Atal (Algeria) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Farid Boulaya.

  18. Post update

    Yacine Brahimi (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Pablo Ganet (Equatorial Guinea).

  20. Post update

    Offside, Algeria. Ismaël Bennacer tries a through ball, but Youcef Belaïli is caught offside.

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Cameroon22006246
2Burkina Faso21012203
3Cape Verde21011103
4Ethiopia200215-40

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Guinea21101014
2Senegal21101014
3Malawi21012203
4Zimbabwe200213-20

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Morocco22003036
2Gabon21102114
3Ghana201112-11
4Comoros200203-30

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Nigeria22004136
2Egypt21011103
3Guinea-Bissau201101-11
4Sudan201113-21

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ivory Coast21103214
2Equatorial Guinea21011103
3Sierra Leone20202202
4Algeria201101-11

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Gambia21102114
2Mali21102114
3Tunisia21014133
4Mauritania200205-50
View full Africa Cup of Nations tables

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC