Equatorial Guinea national football team

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Equatorial Guinea
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Nzalang Nacional (National Thunder)
Association Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol
Sub-confederation UNIFFAC
(Central Africa)
Confederation CAF (Africa)
Head coach Spain Andoni Goikoetxea
Captain Emilio Nsue
Home stadium Nuevo Estadio de Malabo
FIFA code EQG
FIFA ranking 120 Decrease 1 (18 December 2014)
Highest FIFA ranking 59 (April 2013)
Lowest FIFA ranking 195 (December 1998)
Elo ranking 129
Highest Elo ranking 127 (26 March 2013)
Lowest Elo ranking 187 (March 2003)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 China PR 6–2 Equatorial Guinea 
(China; 23 May 1975)
Biggest win
 Equatorial Guinea 3–0 Central African Republic 
(Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; 7 September 2011)
Biggest defeat
 Congo 6–0 Equatorial Guinea 
(Congo; 13 December 1990)
Africa Cup of Nations
Appearances 1 (First in 2012)
Best result Quarter-finals

The Equatorial Guinea national football team, nicknamed Nzalang Nacional, is the national team of Equatorial Guinea and is controlled by the Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol. It is a member of Confederation of African Football (CAF). Though Equatorial Guinea has traditionally been one of the lowest ranked teams in Africa, the recent influx of Spanish-born players having Equatoguinean heritage has strengthened the national team and resulted in some solid performances. They qualified as co-hosts for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The hosting of the tournament lead to the construction of two new football stadia in the country: Estadio de Bata in Bata on the mainland, and Estadio de Malabo in Malabo.

History[edit]

Equatorial Guinea played its first match on 23 May 1975 against China in a friendly and lost 6−2. They did not play another game until entering the 1985 UDEAC Cup in December 1985. They were drawn in a group against the hosts Congo and Central African Republic. They lost 5−0 to the Congo on 9 December and then earnt their first draw by drawing 1−1 against the Central African Republic on 14 December. On 16 December they played a play-off for fifth place against Chad, and lost 3−2 on penalties after a 1−1 draw.[1]

Equatorial Guinea would come in fourth in the 1987 UDEAC Cup, losing on penalties in the third place match to Gabon, even though they only scored one goal throughout the tournament in a 1−1 tie against Chad. They also tied 0−0 against Cameroon. On their next try, they got sixth place after losing on penalties against Central African Replublic. The next time Equatorial Guinea played Central African Republic, in 1999, they won, 4–2. It was Equatorial Guinea's first win.[1]

In the late 2000s, their Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol along with the Fédération Gabonaise de Football announced a bid to host the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, against bids from other African nations including Angola, Libya and Nigeria. Equatorial Guinea and Gabon won the right to host the games,[2] and two new stadiums were built in Equatorial Guinea: Estadio de Bata in Bata and Nuevo Estadio de Malabo in Malabo.[3]

The first game in the 2012 African Cup of Nations was Equatorial Guinea's first in a major international tournament, and resulted in a historic 1–0 win over Libya 21 January 2012 in the opening game of the tournament. An 87th minute strike from former Real Madrid winger Javier Balboa earned the victory.[4] In the next game they secured qualification to the quarter-finals by beating Senegal 2–1,[5] and finished second in their group after losing 0–1 to Zambia.[6] They progressed to the quarter finals were they were eliminated by the tournament's runners-up Ivory Coast after losing to The Elephants 3-0 thanks to goals from Didier Drogba and Yaya Touré.[7] Various national side players were praised due to there performances in the tournament among these players were Javier Balboa, Randy, Ben Konaté and Rui, the latter was part of the Team of the tournament.[8]

Naturalised players controversy[edit]

In recent years, Equatorial Guinea has courted controversy by recruiting foreign players and giving them citizenship despite having little or no ties to the country. In 2009, South African journalist and FIFA archivist Mark Gleeson wrote that it was undermining the integrity of African football.[9]

In late 2005 and at the request of Ruslán Obiang Nsue, a son of President Teodoro Obiang, Brazilian coach Antônio Dumas recruited several Brazilian players to represent the Equatorial Guinea but CAF and FIFA turned a blind eye, despite complaints from other nations.

In 2012, having lost the first leg of a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification round 4-0 to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea recruited nine Brazilian players to help overturn the deficit for the second leg. The team did manage to win the match 2-1, but it was not enough to overturn the aggregate and Equatorial Guinea were eliminated from the tournament. Democratic Republic of the Congo head coach Claude Le Roy complained that that the Equatorial Guinea were acting like the United Nations of football.

Before the arrival of new coach Andoni Goikoetxea to Malabo, in March 2013, the Equatoguinean board made the squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Cape Verde and called nine Brazilian players again.[10] In May 2013, they joined Colombian-born Ecuadorian-based Jimmy Bermúdez, to who was going to pay him € 3,000 for each match he plays.[11]

During Qualifying African Cup of Nations 2015 on the series played against Mauritania, they lost 1-0 away and won 3-0 in Malabo as hosts, sorting to the next round to face Uganda´s national team. However, the Mauritanian Football Federation demands before the CAF for the inclusion of ineligible players to play with Nzalang Nacional (Some with passports and false names), resulting in the expulsion of the Equatorial Guinean team, based on the particular situation of Thierry Fidjeu, while the cases of the other players remain under investigation.

Home stadium[edit]

Further information: Nuevo Estadio de Malabo
Nuevo Estadio de Malabo

Equatorial Guinea's home stadium is Nuevo Estadio de Malabo in Malabo. It can hold up to 15,250 people. Equatorial Guinea played there when they hosted the 2012 African Cup of Nations During there participation in the tournament, they played in this stadium against eventual winners Zambia and runners-up the Ivory Coast. During the national side's participation in the 2012 African Cup of Nations, they also played in the newly constructed Estadio de Bata, in which they played and won both there games in the stadium against Libya and Senegal.[3]

Kit and colors[edit]

Equatorial Guinea wears a red and white uniform. The kit manufacturer is Hummel. When they play in Equatorial Guinea, they wear a solid red jersey and matching shorts with a white stripe around both sleeves and two white stripes from the hip down. The number, FEGIFUT logo, and Hummel logo are located on the chest. The socks are red with white at the top.[12] When Equatorial Guinea is away, they wear the opposite; all white shirt with red stripes.

Achievements[edit]

2006

World Cup record[edit]

Africa Cup of Nations record[edit]

Results and fixtures[edit]

The following matches were played or are scheduled to be played by the national team in the current or upcoming seasons.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called for a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Mauritania.[14][15]

Match Date: 1 June 2014
Opposition:  Mauritania
Caps and goals are correct as of 1 June 2014. Note: Caps and goals may be incomplete for certain players, therefore being inaccurate. It not includes the non-recognized matches by FIFA.[16]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Felipe Ovono (1993-07-26) 26 July 1993 (age 21) 9 0 Equatorial Guinea Deportivo Mongomo
13 1GK Carlos Bejarano (1985-01-29) 29 January 1985 (age 29) 2 0 Colombia Independiente Medellín
3 2DF Kily (1984-02-05) 5 February 1984 (age 30) 21 1 Spain Cudillero
4 2DF Diosdado Mbele (1990-04-08) 8 April 1990 (age 24) 4 0 Belgium Antwerp
5 2DF Jimmy Bermúdez (1987-12-16) 16 December 1987 (age 27) 4 1 Mexico Atlante
8 2DF Lato Ekanza (1990-12-28) 28 December 1990 (age 23) 3 0 Equatorial Guinea Leones Vegetarianos
16 2DF Sipo (1988-04-21) 21 April 1988 (age 26) 17 0 Cyprus AEK Larnaca
6 3MF Juvenal (captain) (1979-04-03) 3 April 1979 (age 35) 28 6 Andorra FC Santa Coloma
10 3MF Dio (1986-09-26) 26 September 1986 (age 28) 7 1 Morocco Maghreb Fès
11 3MF Ben Konaté (1986-12-27) 27 December 1986 (age 27) 16 0 Bahrain East Riffa
17 3MF Esteban Eko (1995-11-10) 10 November 1995 (age 19) 0 0 Equatorial Guinea Akonangui
18 3MF Viera Ellong (1987-06-14) 14 June 1987 (age 27) 9 0 Equatorial Guinea The Panthers
2 4FW Jônatas Obina (1985-12-18) 18 December 1985 (age 29) 4 0 Unattached
7 4FW Iván Bolado (1989-07-03) 3 July 1989 (age 25) 9 0 India Pune City
9 4FW Mauricio Mina (1982-08-24) 24 August 1982 (age 32) 1 1 Colombia Deportivo Pasto
12 4FW Thierry Fidjeu (1982-10-13) 13 October 1982 (age 32) 15 2 France Saint-Colomban Locminé
14 4FW Rubén Belima (1992-02-11) 11 February 1992 (age 22) 1 0 Spain Real Madrid Castilla
15 4FW César Rivas (1979-06-28) 28 June 1979 (age 35) 2 1 Unattached

Recent callups[edit]

The following Equatoguinean players have been called up for the team in the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
MF Randy (1987-06-02) 2 June 1987 (age 27) 19 5 Greece Iraklis Psachna v.  Mauritania, 17 May 2014
MF Valeriano (1995-06-18) 18 June 1995 (age 19) 2 0 Italy Altovicentino v.  Mauritania, 17 May 2014
FW Javier Balboa (1985-05-13) 13 May 1985 (age 29) 15 1 Portugal Estoril Praia v.  Mauritania, 17 May 2014

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Equatorial Guinea - List of International Matches". 5 June 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Angola to host 2010 Nations Cup". BBC Sport. 4 September 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2006. 
  3. ^ a b "Nuevo Estadio de Malabo". Stadium Guide. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Balboa dá vitória à Guiné Equatorial" [Balboa gives the victory to Equatorial Guinea]. A Bola (abola.pt). 21 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  5. ^ BBC Sport – Africa Cup of Nations: Equatorial Guinea in quarters as Senegal crash out 25 January 2012. Accessed 1 February 2011
  6. ^ BBC Sport – Africa Cup of Nations: Zambia book quarter-final slot 29 January 2012. Accessed 1 February 2011
  7. ^ Ivory Coast 3 - 0 Equatorial Guinea 4 February 2012. Accessed 14 February 2011
  8. ^ Orange CAN 2012 Best XI 12 February 2012. Accessed 14 February 2011
  9. ^ "African football’s integrity is undermined, by Mark Gleeson". WorldSoccer.com. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Volante Neto é convocado pela Seleção de Guiné Equatorial" [Midfielder Neto is called for the national team of Equatorial Guinea] (in Portuguese). Barretos Esporte Clube. 10 March 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  11. ^ [1] (Spanish)
  12. ^ "Equatorial Guinea ANC Puma Home Shirt 2012". Football Shirts. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  13. ^ Originally, the host country of this year was Morocco, but resigned to avoid possible spread the Ebola virus. Equatorial Guinea has been chosen as the new host, despite had been disqualified during qualifying due to an irregular line-up.
  14. ^ [2] (Spanish)
  15. ^ [3] (Spanish)
  16. ^ "Equatorial Guinea sanctioned for fielding ineligible player". fifa.com. 19 July 2013. 

External links[edit]