Equatorial Guinea national football team
|Nickname(s)||Nzalang Nacional (National Thunder)|
|Association||Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol|
|Head coach||Esteban Becker|
|Home stadium||Nuevo Estadio de Malabo|
|FIFA ranking||63 13 (9 July 2015)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||49 (February 2015)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||195 (December 1998)|
|Highest Elo ranking||107 (31 January 2015)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||187 (March 2003)|
| China PR 6–2 Equatorial Guinea
(China; 23 May 1975)
| Equatorial Guinea 3–0 Central African Republic
(Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; 7 September 2011)
| Congo 6–0 Equatorial Guinea
(Congo; 13 December 1990)
|Africa Cup of Nations|
|Appearances||2 (First in 2012)|
|Best result||Fourth Place, 2015|
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 of 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. The national team managed a creditable fourth place at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, which also organized.
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 earned 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.
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 draw against Chad. They also drew 0−0 against Cameroon. On their next try, they got sixth place after losing on penalties against the Central African Republic. The next time Equatorial Guinea played the Central African Republic, in 1999, they won, 4–2. It was Equatorial Guinea's first win.
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, and two new stadiums were built in Equatorial Guinea: Estadio de Bata in Bata and Nuevo Estadio de Malabo in Malabo.
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. In the next game they secured qualification to the quarter-finals by beating Senegal 2–1, and finished second in their group after losing 0–1 to Zambia. 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. Various national side players were praised due to their 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.
Three years later, Equatorial Guinea organized again African Cup of Nations. On this occasion, to replace Morocco, which was the original host. In the opener, drew 1-1 against Congo, with Emilio Nsue opening the scoring. In the second game, they came back to tie, being now a 0-0 against Burkina Faso, who were the runners-up of the previous edition. With these two results, the Nzalang Nacional had to win to his classic rival Gabon in the third match to obtain the qualification to the quarterfinals. Then, Equatorial Guinea won by 2-0 with goals from Javier Balboa (penalty kick) and Ibán. Group A's runner-up, the Equatoguinean national team defeated 2-1 to Tunisia with two goals from Javier Balboa, the first being a penalty kick in the final moments of regular time and the second in the extra time. In the semifinal they lost 0-3 to Ghana while in the match for third place drew 0-0 against DR Congo and lost to them 2-4 on penalties, finishing the tournament in fourth place, being its best international participation and reaching a historical 49th position of the FIFA World Rankings.
Naturalised players controversy
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.
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 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. 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.
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.
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 their 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 their games in the stadium against Libya and Senegal.
Kit and colors
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, FEGUIFUT logo, and Hummel logo are located on the chest. The socks are red with white at the top. When Equatorial Guinea is away, they wear the opposite; all white shirt with red stripes.
- CEMAC Cup: 1
World Cup record
Africa Cup of Nations record
|Host nation(s) / Year||Round||Position||GP||W||D*||L||GS||GA|
| 1957 to
|Did Not Enter|
|1990||Did Not Qualify|
|1992||Did Not Enter|
|1994||Did Not Enter|
|1998||Did Not Enter|
|2000||Did Not Enter|
| 2002 to
|Did Not Qualify|
|2013||Did Not Qualify|
- *Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
- **Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
- ***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.
Results and fixtures
The following matches were played or are scheduled to be played by the national team in the current or upcoming seasons.
|Friendly January 7, 2015||Cape Verde||1 – 1||Equatorial Guinea||Seixal, Portugal|
|Mbele 18' (o.g.)||Fabiani 90+4'||Stadium: Campo nº7
|2015 ACN January 17, 2015||Equatorial Guinea||1 – 1||Congo||Bata, Equatorial Guinea|
|16' Nsue||Report||87' Bifouma||Stadium: Estadio de Bata
Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
|2015 ACN January 21, 2015||Equatorial Guinea||0 – 0||Burkina Faso||Bata, Equatorial Guinea|
|Stadium: Estadio de Bata
|2015 ACN January 25, 2015||Equatorial Guinea||2 – 0||Gabon||Bata, Equatorial Guinea|
|Balboa 55' (pen.)
|Stadium: Estadio de Bata
|2015 ACN 31 January 2015||Equatorial Guinea||2 – 1 (aet)||Tunisia||Bata, Equatorial Guinea|
|20:30||Balboa 90+3' (pen.), 102'||Report||Akaïchi 70'||Stadium: Estadio de Bata
Referee: Rajindraparsad Seechurn (Mauritius)
|2015 ACN 5 February 2015||Equatorial Guinea||0 – 3||Ghana||Malabo, Equatorial Guinea|
|Report||J. Ayew 42' (pen.)
A. Ayew 75'
|Stadium: Estadio de Malabo
Referee: Eric Otogo-Castane (Gabon)
|2015 ACN 7 February 2015||Equatorial Guinea||0 – 0 (aet)
|DR Congo||Malabo, Equatorial Guinea|
|Stadium: Estadio de Malabo
Referee: Gehad Grisha (Egypt)
|Friendly 26 March 2015||Egypt||2–0||Equatorial Guinea||Cairo, Egypt|
|Bassin Morsi 86'
|Stadium: Petro Sport
Referee: Mahmoud Al Banna
|Friendly 29 March 2015||Ivory Coast||1 – 1||Equatorial Guinea||Abidjan, Ivory Coast|
|Gradel 72'||Ibán 13'||Stadium: Félix Houphouët-Boigny
|Friendly 6 June 2015||Andorra||0 – 1||Equatorial Guinea||Andorra la Vella, Andorra|
|Igor 17'||Stadium: Estadi Comunal
Referee: Javier Estrada Fernández (Spain)
|2017 ACN Qual 12 June 2015||Equatorial Guinea||1 – 1||Benin||Bata, Equatorial Guinea|
|Nsue 49'||Report||Sessegnon 44'||Stadium: Estadio de Bata
Referee: Victor Gomes (South Africa)
|2017 ACN Qual 4 September 2015||South Sudan||v||Equatorial Guinea||Juba, South Sudan|
|Stadium: Juba Stadium
|2018 WC Qual November 2015||Equatorial Guinea||v||Morocco||Equatorial Guinea|
The following players were called for a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Benin on 14 June 2015.
Caps and goals are correct as of 14 June 2015, after match against Benin. The matches non-recognized by FIFA are not included.
The following Equatoguinean players have been called up for the team in the last twelve months.
- (RET) Retired from the national team
- "Equatorial Guinea - List of International Matches". 5 June 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "Angola to host 2010 Nations Cup". BBC Sport. 4 September 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2006.
- "Nuevo Estadio de Malabo". Stadium Guide. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- "Balboa dá vitória à Guiné Equatorial" [Balboa gives the victory to Equatorial Guinea]. A Bola (abola.pt). 21 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- BBC Sport – Africa Cup of Nations: Equatorial Guinea in quarters as Senegal crash out 25 January 2012. Accessed 1 February 2011
- BBC Sport – Africa Cup of Nations: Zambia book quarter-final slot 29 January 2012. Accessed 1 February 2011
- Ivory Coast 3 - 0 Equatorial Guinea 4 February 2012. Accessed 14 February 2011
- Orange CAN 2012 Best XI 12 February 2012. Accessed 14 February 2011
- "African football’s integrity is undermined, by Mark Gleeson". WorldSoccer.com. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- "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.
-  (Spanish)
- "Equatorial Guinea ANC Puma Home Shirt 2012". Football Shirts. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
- Invalid match for the annals of FIFA since Cape Verde made more than the six regulatory substitutions for friendlies.
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